United States Capitol Building
United States Capitol Building


After clenching an eleventh-hour deal with the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus on the emergency border spending package, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) was able to avoid an embarrassing intraparty split to ensure the bill's passage. On Tuesday afternoon, top Democrats made several tweaks to the $4.5 billion border funding bill just hours before it was to be considered on the House floor. These tweaks included adding strict conditions requiring private detention facilities to meet specific standards of care within six months or risk losing their contract, as well as imposing hygienic, health, and nutritional requirements for migrants and limiting the amount of time alien children can remain in arrival holding facilities before being transferred to licensed HHS facilities.


After is was passed, H.R. 3401 faced another obstacle in the form of a motion to recommit, petitioned for by House Republicans. A motion to recommit is the last chance for Members of Congress to stop or amend a bill before it gets a final vote on the floor of the House. The minority party has the right to offer this motion as the final step before a vote on passage, the motion then undergoes a majority vote and is either accepted or denied.

Thirteen House Democrats voted alongside House Republicans on the motion to recommit. That vote failed narrowly by a 205 to 218 tally. (While these Democrats voted in favor for the motion to recommit to add $64 million of additional funding for ICE to the border supplemental spending bill, they still voted yes on the bill's final passage that excluded those additional funds.)

Democrats who bucked Party leaders on Motion to Recommit

Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa)
Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Joe. Cunningham (D-S.C.)
Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa)
Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine)
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.)
Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Okla.)
Rep. Conner Lamb (D-Penn.)
Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa)
Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.)
Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.)
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.)
Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.)


The final vote was almost entirely along party lines.

Republicans who voted with House Democrats in favor of the emergency spending bill that would reduce enforcement.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas),
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.)

Democrats who voted against the final emergency spending bill:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Illhan Omar (D-Minn.)
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D.-Mass.)


This afternoon, the Senate rejected the House emergency spending bill, by a vote of 37-55. It then passed its own supplemental bill, S. 1900, by a vote of 84-8.

The eight Senators who voted against the Senate's version of the supplemental spending bill were:

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)
Sen. Wyden (D-Ore.)

House Democrats are now under pressure to vote on the Senate measure, which includes hundreds of millions of additional funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in the forms of salary increases and alternatives to detention, and the Pentagon, in addition to fewer oversight provisions for unaccompanied children held in federal custody. Nevertheless, the Senate bill, while much better than H.R. 3401, still falls short of the president's request by denying Immigration and Customs Enforcement the additional detention beds it needs to further contain the crisis at the southern border. President Trump had already threatened to veto the House version because it lacks funding for ICE detention beds and the Pentagon to help with border security and enforcement, among other issues. This Senate vote squeezes House Democrats to solve the funding issue at the southern border just before the Fourth of July recess that begins at the end of this week.

For the full House bill, please visit congress.gov.
For the full Senate bill, please visit govtrack.us.
For more on the House bill, please visit Politico.
For more on the Senate bill, please visit Politico.

Updated: Wed, Jul 10th 2019 @ 4:30pm EDT