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Senate committee approves Trump’s $4.5B emergency border funds

President Trump discusses border security with CBP Commissioner McAleenan, Acting Border Patrol Chief Provost, and San Diego Border Patrol Sector Chief Patrol Agent Scott during a visit to the border wall prototypes and mockups. (Jetta Disco/Department of Homeland Security)
June 20, 2019

A Senate committee reached a bipartisan deal to fulfill Trump’s request for southern border operations funding.

The deal secures $4.5 billion to fulfill a border funding request from President Trump, which includes $3.3 billion for humanitarian aid, and another $1.1 billion for border operations and resources, The Hill reported Tuesday.

The deal does not include any funding for the southern border wall, however.

The deal was struck by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby and Sen. Patrick Leahy, and a full Senate floor vote is expected to take place before next week when the Fourth of July recess begins.

Leahy called the deal “a good faith compromise” and said the bill “is primarily a humanitarian assistance package,” according to The Hill.

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“This package does not include everything that I would have wanted, it does not include everything that Senator Leahy would want but most importantly it does not include poison pills from either parties,” Shelby said.

Most of the humanitarian aid funds will go to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the care and sheltering of unaccompanied minors.

Although the bill passed the committee in a 30-1 vote, it will need to secure 60 votes on the Senate floor before the House considers a vote.

Democratic senators previously said they would support a deal that included humanitarian aid and funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which was projected to run out of funding in July.

However, they expressed opposition to any funding that would be used for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“President Trump’s proposal had some things that are very needed, which we would support, had some things that are off the table, and some things that would be in a gray area. … I’d like to see some kind of action that deals with the humanitarian crisis and can pass both the Senate and the House because we got to get it done. It’s serious,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer told reporters on Tuesday.

Some of the funding in the bill will ultimately go to ICE, along with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Although the latest deal had Democratic support, it’s unclear whether it will secure support with Democrats in the House.

The deal is a first in fulfilling Trump’s request for emergency border funds which he made in early May. No funds in the request were allocated to border wall construction.

“We can confirm that the funds requested in the supplemental will not be used to build additional miles of wall on the southwest border,” an administration official said at the time, as reported by CNN.

The official said the funds would help a “dire” situation at the border as agencies “are literally running out of funds.”