Senate Committee Approves Trump’s $4.5 Billion Border Request

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation on Wednesday that would give President Trump more than $4.5 billion in additional spending tied to the U.S.-Mexico border.

The GOP-controlled panel voted 30-1 to approve the legislation, paving the way for a Senate vote before lawmakers leave for the July 4th recess.

The panel provides a total of $4.59 billion to Trump in response to the administration’s request for emergency spending along the border. More than half—$2.88 billion—would go to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for unaccompanied children.

Senators and administration officials argued new funding was needed by early next month to shore up the HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement, or it would run out money and require employees and grantees to operate on “I.O.U.s.”

The bill also includes new money for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Sens. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday reached a deal on the package after negotiating through the weekend, including on a plane ride back from Paris.

Leahy, during the committee’s hearing, called their bill a “good faith compromise.”

“The package that we are considering today is primary a humanitarian assistance package,” Leahy said.

Shelby also asked members of the committee to hold off from offering “poison pills” or other immigration language, which could complicate the bill’s chances.

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