WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The clock is ticking for lawmakers to pass a bill to address the crisis at the southern border.
Lawmakers called for immediate action after seeing a photo of a migrant father and daughter who officials said drowned while trying to cross into the United States from Mexico. The image also caused President Trump to demand changes.
“I hate it and I know it can be stopped immediately if Democrats changed the laws,” said President Trump.
But Democratic leaders said the administration’s policies are to blame for problems at the border.
“These are not drug dealers or vagrants or criminals. They are people simply fleeing a horrible situation in their home country for a better life,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader.
Lawmakers remain divided over the best way to spend funding at the border. Late Tuesday night, the Democratic-controlled House passed a $4.6 billion spending plan that included improving the conditions for migrants in U.S. custody. Republican Congressman Buddy Carter (Georgia) voted against that measure.
“This was nothing more than a political message by the Democrats to try to poke their finger in the President’s eye, and unfortunately that is not what we need at this time,” said Carter.
Carter supports the Senate’s bipartisan bill which allocates nearly $4.6 billion for the border crisis and focuses on funding for border security, as well as increasing the number of beds at detention centers.
On Wednesday, Democratic Senator Bob Casey from Pennsylvania voted for the Senate’s plan, which passed overwhelmingly. He hopes the legislation gets to the president’s desk soon.
“For billions more to help children and families at the border,” said Sen. Casey.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she would not take up the Senate’s border bill, causing uncertainty over whether lawmakers can reach an agreement before Congress goes on recess.