House of Representatives Passes Southern Border Crisis Funding Bill
Yesterday, June 25, 2019, the United States House of Representatives passed the “Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act”, in a party-line vote of 230-195 (1). The emergency funding will allocate “$4.5 billion… to federal departments and agencies for humanitarian assistance and security to respond to migrants attempting to enter the United States at the southern border” (2). The bill comes amidst reports of hundreds of migrant children being detained in border patrol facilities “without adequate food, water and sanitation” (3). Of the $4.5 billion of emergency funding, “$35,943,000 is for transportation of unaccompanied alien children”, “$200,000,000” is for the “treatment efforts for physical or mental health conditions”, access to “food, shelter, hygiene services and supplies, clothing,… [and] direct access to legal [representation]” for migrant children (4). Other spending in the bill provides for additional administrative, personnel, and management of the border facilities aiming to improve the conditions of migrant children (4).
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said on the passing of the act, the House is “ensuring that children have food, clothing, sanitary items, shelter, and medical care” (5). Republican Representative Chip Roy from Texas remarked how not “that long ago, the Speaker of the House called the situation a fake crisis at the border… It was very purposeful to try to hide the fact that there is, in fact, a crisis for some sort of cynical political gain.” The Texas Representative went on to say “[t]his legislation… has been late, does not address the problem, and will, in fact, make the problem worse”, and the House needs to “work together to provide legislation that would actually solve the problem” (6). Prior to the bill’s signing, President Donald Trump had stated on the conditions at these border facilities that he is “very concerned”, that he is “trying to get the Democrats to agree to really… [approve] humanitarian aid”, and if they “can get this bill signed, [they’ll] be able to do it”. With the bill now signed in the House it will move to the Senate, where the Republican majority will decide it’s fate.