The Senate passed an emergency funding plan late Wednesday and will attempt to reconcile it with a separate House bill as anger over the handling of migrant children on the southern border continues to mount.
The Republican-controlled Senate approved a measure to send about $4.6 billion to support operations, and the Democrat-controlled House passed a plan to appropriate $4.5 billion. The bill includes standards for caring for children at migrant detention facilities.
Now the two sides will try to reconcile their bills after the Senate voted down the House plan 55-37.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi also said the House won’t take up the Senate’s plan because “there are some improvements that we think can be reconciled,” she told NBC News.
Pelosi spoke with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, suggesting four unspecified changes to the Senate measure, according to Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
“We could quickly have a conference, talk about those four changes, try to get them in the bill, finish this quickly and I hope that’s what will happen,” Schumer said.
Congress is rushing to pass a funding bill before it adjourns Thursday for a Fourth of July recess as the furor grows over the situation with migrants and their treatment.
An Associated Press report last week showed poor conditions, lack of proper nutrition and basic necessities at a Texas facility housing hundreds of migrant children. Most of the them were then moved from the facility, and about 100 returned, according to the Associated Press.
Further escalating tensions, a graphic photo of a father and his 23-month-old daughter lying face down on the banks of the Rio Grande after drowning was published by the AP. Trump blamed Democrats because they “refuse to change” U.S. asylum and immigration laws.
The Democrats should change the Loopholes and Asylum Laws so lives will be saved at our Southern Border. They said it was not a crisis at the Border, that it was all just “manufactured.” Now they admit that I was right – But they must do something about it. Fix the Laws NOW!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2019
On Tuesday, acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders resigned after taking the job just two months ago.
Democrats also went on the attack, with 2020 nominee candidate Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., going to a migrant detention center in Homestead, Florida, ahead of the first primary debate in Miami.
There are a lot of different ways that we get in the fight. And one of them is that you show up. I'm at the Homestead detention center today and I hope you'll be watching. https://t.co/vzXqUlaiIM
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 26, 2019
The contenders are accusing Trump, who pledged to crackdown on illegal immigration on the campaign trail, of cruelty in dealing with migrants seeking asylum from poverty and gang violence in Central America.
Florida Senator Rick Scott called Warren’s detention center visit “shameful” because she missed votes on the emergency aid money.