Senate votes to start debate on emergency border bill
July 30th, 2014
12:51 PM ET
4 months ago

Senate votes to start debate on emergency border bill

Updated 1:28 p.m. ET, 7/30/2014

Washington (CNN) - The Senate voted on Wednesday to take up a $2.7 billion Democratic spending bill to address the southern border crisis.

Lawmakers voted 63-33 on a procedural vote to begin debate on the emergency measure prompted by the deluge of migrant youth from Central America who have entered the country illegally this year.

The bill does not include controversial changes to a 2008 law to expedite deportations. Republicans and the White House have said the anti-trafficking law needs to be modified.

But most Democrats oppose the change, arguing that children, especially those unaccompanied and fleeing violence, need the extra protections in that law.

Tens of thousands of migrant youth from Central America have streamed across the southern border this year, overwhelming related services and creating what most agree is a humanitarian crisis.

The issue has become the latest political flashpoint in the overall immigration debate ahead of November midterms.

Passage uncertain

While 11 Senate Republicans voted to take up the bill on Tuesday, that doesn’t signal it is headed toward passage.

Those same Republicans will likely block going to a final vote unless Democrats agree to allow votes on numerous GOP amendments to change the bill. Democrats are not expected to allow that.

More votes could come as early as Thursday.

Congress is set to leave town at the end of the week for its August recess and some House and Senate members are concerned about potential political fallout if they leave Washington without addressing the issue.

But Democrats Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina, facing tough re-election campaigns in their Republican-leaning states, voted against taking up the bill. Other vulnerable Democrats voted to begin debate on measure.

In the House, Republican leaders are struggling to come up with enough votes to pass their version of a border funding bill.

They scaled back their proposal this week, unveiling a $659 million measure aimed at bringing conservatives on board.

While Speaker John Boehner told reporters that he believed "there is sufficient support" for the bill, he also admitted he had "a little more work to do."

The new GOP plan is significantly smaller than the $3.7 billion request sought by President Barack Obama to address the crisis.

There is little optimism that a deal could be reached with Senate Democrats any time soon.


Filed under: Congress • Immigration • Senate
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Dean

    $2.7 billion could start to build a pretty sturdy wall.

    July 30, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. Silence DoGood

    "While 11 Senate Republicans voted to take up the bill.....Those same Republicans will likely block going to a final vote"
    ------------–
    Will that sums up the GOP in Congress these days.
    Put on a good show then pull the rug out.

    July 30, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Marty

    Sounds like another if you pass it you can see what's in it deal.

    July 30, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. Uneek

    If they passed through Mexico to get here, then they should of took up residence there because refugee's can't pick there country due to a welfare system. Mexico had them first.

    July 30, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. HenryMiller

    $2.7 billion? Apparently Democrats will try to use just about any excuse to spend/waste taxpayer money.

    July 30, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. 82ndABNVET

    I don't think you need anymore money than what the Republicans in the House are proposing.

    That is of course unless it is being used to build a fence/wall along the entire border 10ft deep and 20ft tall.

    What does this say to those that actually followed the law, put in the time and effort, paid the fees, and took the tests to become a citizen? Why should they do it the right way? They could just hop the border and save themselves from all of that.

    Without a border, you do not have a country. We will just be known as Northern Mexico.

    And how are they going to get a job and work, and not be on the payroll of the taxpayer if they cannot speak English? They are just going to be added to the already bankrupt system that we have in place now.

    It isnt just children crossing over. There are gang members, possible terrorists, etc that are making their way into the country. Until you close it down, we will basically be begging for another 9/11 situation.

    July 30, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. krish

    exactly right, ohh wait...who are the ones filing a lawsuit using taxpayer money ?

    July 30, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. Thomas

    General Rick " BlackJack " Perry is down in Texas as we speak kicking those little children back across the fence .

    Remember the Alamo .

    Rick Perry / Ted Cruz 2016

    July 30, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. Silence DoGood

    @HenryMiller
    $2.7 billion? Apparently Democrats will try to use just about any excuse to spend/waste taxpayer money.
    -----------
    That was about a weeks worth of killing in the W Iraq illegal invasion.

    July 30, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. PaulCat

    Let's make it fast.
    We have a five (5) week vacation to start.

    July 30, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "$2.7 billion? Apparently Democrats will try to use just about any excuse to spend/waste taxpayer money."

    You think it's cheap and easy peasy lickity split to put 100,000 people through the deportation process? How many judges are needed? How many courtrooms for how many hours per day? How many clerks and peripheral staff for all those courtrooms? How many legal representatives? How much housing and food and people to watch and care for these unaccompanied minors to assure their health and well-being? Please, do tell us all since you have it sooo figured out just how easy and cheaply this can all be handled.

    July 30, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    ""While 11 Senate Republicans voted to take up the bill.....Those same Republicans will likely block going to a final vote""

    In other words, they wanted it to go to debate so they could engage in the political theater of demanding their wish-list immigration agenda be tacked onto the bill as an amendment, but they plan to scuttle the whole thing anyway.

    July 30, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. Mr. Balls

    The ultimate ridiculousness of the Republicans – offer an amendment then vote against its passage.

    July 30, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. O'drama ya Mama

    HenryMiller

    $2.7 billion? Apparently Democrats will try to use just about any excuse to spend/waste taxpayer money.
    July 30, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Republicans said it was a good thing to waste the $24 billion during the government shutdown just to prove a point, which ended up fixing nothing. Why is it a waste to spend $2.7 billion to fix what you Republicans are complaining about?

    July 30, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |