(Reuters) – Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress looked headed toward a compromise on Thursday that would allow them to approve emergency funding to address worsening humanitarian conditions for migrant children and families on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Several Democrats in the House of Representatives said the chamber was likely to vote later on Thursday on a $4.6 billion spending bill that was approved by the Senate on Wednesday.
A photo of drowned migrants, and reports of horrendous conditions for detained children, have spurred efforts to craft compromise legislation to send to U.S. President Donald Trump before Congress breaks this week for the U.S. Independence Day holiday.
When asked when the House would take up the Senate bill,
Jim McGovern, a Democrat who heads the House Rules Committee, said: “I am hoping right now.”
House Democrats had earlier on Thursday suspended work on legislation to retool the Senate-passed border aid legislation. Several Democrats had joined Republicans in calling for the chamber to simply bring up the Senate-passed bill without amending it.
“Children are suffering at the border and we must act now to stop it,” Ben McAdams, a House Democrat, wrote on Twitter. “The House should vote to approve the Senate version of the bill that addresses the Central American refugee crisis at the border and helps the kids living in unsafe and unacceptable conditions.”
The need for funding has become more urgent as attorneys last week called attention to more than 300 children detained in squalid conditions at a border patrol facility in Clint, Texas.
Trump has made cracking down on immigration a centerpiece of his administration but officials are saying they will soon run out of money for border agencies.