House Passes Bipartisan Border Crisis Bill After 'Problem Solvers Caucus' Defies Democratic Leaders
How do you feel about the Problem Solvers Caucus forcing a vote on the bipartisan border bill?
by Causes | 6.27.19
(Updated 6/27/19) The House passed the $4.59 billion funding package to address the humanitarian crisis at the Southern border on a bipartisan 305-102 vote Thursday afternoon, sending it to President Donald Trump's desk to be signed into law. It was supported by 176 Republican and 129 Democratic lawmakers, while 95 Democrats and and seven Republicans voted against it.
Countable's original story appears below.
A potential impasse over a $4.59 billion funding package to address the humanitarian crisis at the Southern border appears to have been averted on Thursday, thanks to a bipartisan group of lawmakers known as the Problem Solvers Caucus.
After the House passed the border crisis funding package along mostly party-lines earlier in the week, the partisan version of the bill failed 37-55 in the Senate. The Senate then amended the bill and passed it on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 84-8.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) planned to bring up further amendments to the bill reflective of Democratic priorities, which prompted more than 50 House Republicans to come to the floor to ask unanimous consent for a vote on the Senate-passed bill.
Many echoed concerns expressed by senators that the House would once again send the Senate a bill it was unable to pass, potentially delaying enactment of the emergency funding package beyond next week’s Independence Day recess. Earlier this month, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services notified Congress that they were perilously close to depleting funds used to provide appropriate resources for the detention of migrants.
Off the floor, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) notified Democratic leadership that the Problem Solvers Caucus’ Democratic members were prepared to vote against the rule that would’ve allowed the amendment votes to proceed, per the reporting of The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis and Rachael Bade.
House Democrats were about to start the vote on the rule when Gotteheimer’s fellow Problem Solvers Caucus member, Rep. John Katko (R-NY), delivered the news on the House floor:
Bipartisanship has broken out in the Senate. 84-8 they passed H.R. 3401. I am now happy to report to the House that bipartisanship has broken out on the floor of the House of Representatives. For right now I am announcing that 23 Democrats and 23 Republicans from the Problem Solvers Caucus have just issued the following statement:
“Given the humanitarian crisis at the border, the Problem Solvers Caucus is asking for immediate consideration on the House floor today of H.R. 3401 as amended by the Senate.”
We now are certain that H.R. 3401 will pass, I ask us to let this bipartisanship spread to the rest of this House and put an end to this now, once and for all, and get the help to the border that is so badly needed.
Shortly after Katko’s remarks, Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) withdrew the rule and the House went into recess “subject to the call of the chair.”
Later, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) confirmed in a letter that the House would "reluctantly pass" the bill, which cleared the Senate on an overwhelming 84-8 vote Wednesday.
A "gravely disappointed" Pelosi wrote that "we will not engage in the same disrespectful behavior that the Senate did in ignoring our priorities." Earlier in the day, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) contrasted his chamber's bipartisan bill with House Democrats' proposals:
"We did not, in the end continue to play these political games over this humanitarian crisis. They did, and it's their problem to resolve and I hope they can figure a way to do that today."
This is a developing story and will be updated.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Customs & Border Protection via Flickr / Public Domain)
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