An aid to deliver an approximate $4.6 billion to the southern border was passed Wednesday, by a bipartisan, GOP-held Senate. The measure was passed before the government runs out of money, and is intended to offer care for thousands of immigrant families and as well as unaccompanied children on the border.
Less than 24 hours after a similar measure was actually approved by the liberals in the Democrat-controlled House. The Senate passed the measure with a sweeping 84-8 vote. The House bill, although similar to the passed Senate bill, laid out more stringent requirements and restrictions for how the children who are detained at the border are treated. The bill was said to face a veto from the White House but was quickly rejected by the Senate.
What then resulted was an unclear path as to how the two chambers would not only resolve their differences and come up with a bill but one that would have the support and signing off of the President. Nancy Pelosi, Democrat Speaker of the House, stated that she and her fellow Democrats would offer a proposal of changes to the Senates version of the legislation, and then would quickly rush the measure, along with the amendments, on to the House. However, it is still not clear on how fast the Senate would act or if the changes would be accepted by the Senate or the President,
After a private meeting with other top House Democrats, Pelosi released a written statement saying: "We pray that the White House and the Senate will join us in embracing the children and meeting their needs." The announcement by Pelosi went on to include the setting of standards of the care given to the children involved, as well as the time frame that they may be detained.
Pelosi told reporters that she called the President on Wednesday afternoon, discussing the measure and the improvements that she and her fellow Democrats felt could be reconciled. While leaving the White House for Japan, the President stated that the passing of the legislation was urgent and that he seemed to have left the door open for negotiations.
With Congress planning their weeklong leave for the July 4th recess in a few days, the pressure is mounting to get this piece of legislation in the bag well before then. A failure to act could be seen as the government ignoring the issue of the immigrant children currently living in overcrowded, more often than not inadequate, government-run facilities.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Will the Congress get this issue hammered out before the July 4th recess?