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Senators Reach Bipartisan Deal on a Border Funding Package

June 18, 2019, 11:26 PM UTC
Senate Republicans and Democrats reached a deal on $4.6 billion in emergency funds to deal with a surge in migration at the U.S. border with Mexico, people familiar with the deal said Tuesday.

President Donald Trump requested the funds on May 1, including $3.3 billion to be used to shelter undocumented migrants at the southern border and $1.1 billion for border operations. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will vote on a border measure by the end of next week.

Because of squabbles over immigration policy, the border funding was left out of a $19.1 billion disaster aid package signed into law earlier this month.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby of Alabama and top Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont reached an agreement and plan to announce details before a committee vote on the bill tomorrow morning, the people said.

The House plans to vote on a separate border package next week, according to Representative Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat who has become a point person on the issue for Speaker Nancy Pelosi. If that plan differs from the Senate effort, the House and Senate could convene a conference committee to work out the differences.

Democrats have sought to ensure that funds in the package wouldn’t be used to build Trump’s border wall or pay for raids on undocumented immigrants within the U.S.

Party members have also sought to limit the government’s ability to transfer information on those seeking to care for child migrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which could lead to deportations. There was no immediate word on whether Leahy was able to secure changes addressing these points.

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