Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 7, 2015

Mikulski Set to Unveil Emergency Spending for Immigration Crisis (Video)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski plans to introduce a $3.57 billion emergency supplemental spending package on Wednesday.

The Maryland Democrat’s emergency bill primarily deals with the crisis of unaccompanied migrant children, but it also would provide funding for fighting wildfires and make a payment to Israel for the Iron Dome missile defense system. A Senate Democratic aide said the package is expected to reach the Senate floor early next week, which would make it one of many pieces of a pre-recess push.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had deferred to Mikulski in regards to announcing the plan earlier Tuesday.

“The bill is a responsible solution. It provides a total of $3.57 billion to meet essential and immediate needs,” Mikulski said in a statement. “The total amount of the President’s request will be needed. However, based on a review of what is needed in calendar year 2014 to meet needs at the border, the bill reduces the President’s request by $1 billion.”

The aide stressed that the legislative proposal is an emergency funding bill, not a policy bill — and accordingly it is not being drafted to include immigration law changes such as modifications to a 2008 law sought by Republicans and some Democrats.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters earlier Tuesday that policy changes would be needed to get GOP support.

“What I think I can safely say virtually everybody I’ve heard in our conference discuss is that throwing money at the problem is not going to fix it,” McConnell said, without commenting specifically on support for a proposal from Texas Republican Ted Cruz to overturn Obama’s executive action regarding an earlier group of unauthorized immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told reporters that Republicans planned to meet in an effort to unite around one policy position.

The biggest pieces of Mikulski’s plan would provide $1.1 billion to the Homeland Security Department for handling their responsibilities related to the crisis, while $1.2 billion would go to Health and Human Services for treatment, care, housing and other services for the children involved. The aide said the money is needed immediately since several departments and agencies involved will soon run short of money. HHS has already exhausted transfer authority, the aide said.

Mikulski is increasing some accounts from the Obama administration’s request, seeking to provide for 10 additional immigration judges and funds for legal services for the migrant children beyond the request.

The wildfire money totals $615 million, as Obama had asked for. The aide said that while there was not a formal budgetary request for the Iron Dome money, the Pentagon did request it in a letter.

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  1. Nunaya Biddness III

    July 23, 2014
    3:39 a.m.

    Obama’s administration already received the funds to secure the border…how about they start with those billions? How about Obama stop playing games and use his ‘Pen and Phone’ to help the American people for a change?

    Not another dime unless Democrats and Obama act to correct the problem Obama’s policies created. Any additional funding Bill must close the 08′ law loophole and require the Obama Administration to finally begin to enforce our laws and begin deportations, otherwise its just another expensive lie from Obama and the Dem’s.

    ***and NO, Obama’s has not deported more _ that is another lie. Obama has actually deported less than even Bush did.

    “The Deportation Lie – The Obama administration cooks the enforcement books.”;

    The President and Democrats need to start doing whats best for Americans they were hired to represent, not Illegals and sleazy businesses who hire them at our expense. After all the lies, spin and deception from Obama and Democrats, only a fool would take them at their word.

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    July 23, 2014
    2:03 p.m.

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  3. public voice

    July 24, 2014
    1:48 a.m.

    some people just love to wear unfit cloths. the law Bush Jr sign was for year 2008 when there wasn’t 50,000 illegal immigrants in first half of the year. How sad is this US government keep asking for the unfit cloth. Is Sen. Barbara Mikulski one of those love to insist to wear unfit cloth? We have people can’t afford tap water in Detroit. We have US Citizens working 3 jobs to support their family here; while illegal will support by tax payers.

    I speak English and “will press 1, now.” :)

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    July 25, 2014
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