Oklahoma lawmakers split on border aid bill


The House Democratic leadership pushed through a $4.5 billion emergency aid package late Tuesday to help thousands of migrants packed into overcrowded facilities at the U.S. -Mexico border, but it's unlikely to get a hearing in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Lawmakers and aides said they expected the changes, which were concessions to Hispanic and liberal Democrats, to produce a winning tally when the measure comes to a vote later Tuesday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also hailed Sullivan's decision.

But the proposal has significant differences with the House bill and Republican leaders have not secured an agreement yet between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate to vote on it on the floor, which means the process could be dragged out.

More than 144,000 migrants were encountered or apprehended at the border in May, many of them unaccompanied minors or family units, severely complicating efforts to house or deport them. The sweeps were supposed to begin Sunday, but Trump said he postponed them.

"I understand what I want", he said.

Pelosi then revealed some more of her phone call with Trump, saying that Trump "didn't say what he was going to do, the president said 'Oh, you know, I'll let you know, ' went into, 'well, people broke the law'".

"We passed a great bill so just go tell the Senate that they should pass the same bill", House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said Wednesday.

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"After ignoring the Administration's request for desperately needed funding to address the humanitarian crisis at the border for over a month, and despite the efforts of the House minority, the House majority has put forward a partisan bill that underfunds necessary accounts and seeks to take advantage of the current crisis by inserting policy provisions that would make our country less safe", the White House's Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.

The revised House bill strengthens protections for unaccompanied children in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, setting certain standards for meeting water, hygiene, nutrition and sanitation needs. He said Border Patrol stations are holding 15,000 people - more than triple their maximum capacity of 4,000. Congress plans a July 4 recess next week and lawmakers dread facing constituents without having approved the money.

"Because this bill does not provide adequate funding to meet the current crisis, and because it contains partisan provisions created to hamstring the Administration's border enforcement efforts, the Administration opposes its passage", the letter said.

Progressives in the House, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, threatened to withhold support from the bill because they feared it would funnel money to agencies that have implemented President Trump's immigration policies. "This is a very important vote", Pelosi said Tuesday. Tony Cardenas, D-Calif. He said the United States has been "the gold standard" for treating refugees fleeing unsafe countries, "and I don't think we should compromise that at all". Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of MA and Rashida Tlaib - voted against the bill.

Much of the legislation's money would help care for migrants at a time when federal officials say their agencies have been overwhelmed by the influx of migrants and are running out of funds.

"It is outside the circle of civilized human behavior, just kicking down doors, splitting up families and the rest of that in addition to the injustices that are happening at the border", she said.

"We are ensuring that children have food, clothing, sanitary items, shelter and medical care".

A federal judge told US House and Senate Democrats they can begin collecting financial evidence this week about Donald Trump's businesses for a lawsuit.