Congress is at a standoff over a $4.6 billion aid package for the southern border as House Democrats say a Senate-passed measure doesn’t go far enough to care for thousands of migrant families and children. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is considering a fresh vote Thursday. Democrats want to add more protections for the children — including medical and hygiene standards at facilities, and a requirement that any death of a minor be reported within 24 hours. Democratic leaders will convene early Thursday and Pelosi’s spokesman says they plan to push the amended measure through the House quickly. “The humanitarian emergency at our southern border challenges the conscience of America, and we must act,” Nancy Pelosi said in a statement after meeting with key lawmakers late Wednesday. “For the children, we must do the best we can.” It’s a risky stalemate over a border crisis that has captured global attention amid unsettling reports of gruesome conditions at federal facilities and the deaths of migrants and children. The funding is urgently needed to prevent the humanitarian emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border from worsening. Money runs out in a matter of days. The GOP-led Senate on Wednesday passed a bipartisan $4.6 billion measure on a sweeping 84-8 vote. Approval came less than 24 hours after the Democratic-controlled House approved a similar measure backed by liberals. The House bill, which contained tougher requirements for how detained children must be treated, faced a White House veto threat and was easily rejected by the Senate. Pelosi called
If all three compromise spending packages are approved by both chambers and signed by President Donald Trump, they would account for nearly 90 percent of annual spending, including the military and most civilian agencies. Lawmakers would still need a short-term patch for a portion of the government, including the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees Trump’s long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Republicans say the legislation will also seek to encourage start-up businesses by allowing them to write off more start-up costs and add investors without limiting tax benefits, such as research and development credits. “Anytime we’re talking about tax cuts and the growing economy, we’re winning,” said Matt Gorman, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the party’s main campaign support for House Republican candidates.