Shelby-negotiated bill passes Senate that would give Trump additional $4.59 billion to combat border crisis
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a bill chiefly negotiated by Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) that will provide much-needed funding for the security and humanitarian crisis at the nation’s southern border.
The emergency supplemental appropriations legislation, which passed the Senate Appropriations Committee last week by a vote of 30-1, provides an additional $4.59 billion to address the border crisis and contains no poison pills from either party.
The full Senate on Wednesday passed the legislation by an overwhelming vote of 84–8 after listening to remarks delivered by Shelby on the floor.
During that speech before the vote, Shelby stated, “This is a solid bill. It provides the resources needed to address the crisis we face.”
“It contains no poison pills, and it is poised to pass the Senate with strong bipartisan support, unlike the version that came out of the House last night,” he continued. “So I say to our colleagues in the House, now that there is bipartisan acknowledgment that the crisis on our southern border is real, do not derail the one bipartisan vehicle with a real chance of becoming law.”
“Those who want to alleviate the suffering on our southern border will soon have a bipartisan path forward in the Senate bill,” Shelby commented. “Those who choose to obstruct over partisan demands will soon have a lot of questions to answer when this crisis escalates further. There is no excuse for Congress leaving town at the end of the week without getting this done. Let’s come together and do our job.”
Reports say that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) currently does not plan to hold a vote on the bipartisan compromise version that just passed the Senate, leaving the funding in limbo.
Shelby’s full floor remarks from Wednesday, as follows:
There is no longer any question that the situation along our southern border is a full-blown humanitarian and security crisis.
Leader McConnell has firmly established this fact here on the Senate floor, and charges from the other side of a manufactured crisis have fallen silent.
At this juncture there is little need to recapitulate the case for action.
We know what our professionals on the front lines need to get a handle on the situation.
The only question is, will Congress come together and act or fall prey to partisanship while the crisis escalates further?
I am pleased to say that last week the Appropriations Committee charted a course for strong, bipartisan action.
By a vote of 30-1, the committee approved an emergency appropriations bill to address the crisis at the border. 30-1.
Such an overwhelming bipartisan vote would not have been possible without the cooperation of my good friend and Vice Chairman, Senator Leahy.
I want to thank Vice Chairman Leahy for working with me to find a path forward.
This bipartisan committee product, which I will soon offer as a substitute amendment to the House bill, provides $4.59 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to address the humanitarian and security crisis at the border.
It does not contain everything Vice Chairman Leahy wanted. It does not contain everything I wanted.
More importantly, it does not contain any poison pills from either side.
That is why it passed the Appropriations Committee by a vote of 30-1.
And that is what gives us the best chance of passing a bill without further delay.
I want to briefly outline for my colleagues the particulars of the package reported by the Appropriations Committee.
Of the total funding provided, the lion’s share – $2.88 billion – will help the Department of Health and Human Services provide safe and appropriate shelter and care for children in its custody.
An additional $1.1 billion is included for Customs and Border Protection, to establish migrant care and processing facilities; provide medical care and consumables; and pay travel and overtime costs for personnel.
$209 million is provided for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to fund transportation costs and medical care for detainees; conduct human trafficking operations; and again, to pay travel and overtime costs for personnel.
$30 million is for FEMA, to reimburse states and localities for expenses they have incurred related to the massive influx of migrants in their communities.
$220 million is included for the Department of Justice, to help process immigration cases and provide badly needed resources to the U.S. Marshals Service for the care and detention of Federal prisoners.
Finally, $145 million is provided for the various branches of the U.S. military who have incurred operating expenses in support of multiple missions along the border.
This is a solid bill. It provides the resources needed to address the crisis we face. It contains no poison pills.
And it is poised to pass the Senate with strong bipartisan support, unlike the version that came out of the House last night.
So I say to our colleagues in the House: now that there is bipartisan acknowledgment that the crisis on our southern border is real, do not derail the one bipartisan vehicle with a real chance of becoming law.
Those who want to alleviate the suffering on our southern border will soon have a bipartisan path forward in the Senate bill.
Those who choose to obstruct over partisan demands will soon have a lot of questions to answer when this crisis escalates further.
There is no excuse for Congress leaving town at the end of the week without getting this done.
Let’s come together and do our job. And with that I yield the floor.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn