Because of the congressional recess, there will be no regular voting report this week. How your lawmakers voted will return next week.
The Senate conducted votes last week on two distinct approaches to delivering $4.6 billion in additional funding to government agencies operating on the U.S.-Mexico border. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., voted for one measure and against the other. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., missed both roll calls while on the presidential campaign trail.
The House faced the same choice between passing a bipartisan bill that originated in the Senate or a measure drafted by House Democrats that tied the funding to improvements in the administration’s handling of migrants mainly from Central America. Area Reps. Jeff Van Drew, D-2nd, and Andy Kim, D-3rd, voted in favor of both approaches.
SENATE REJECTS DEMOCRATIC VERSION OF FUNDING BILL
On June 26, the Senate voted 37-55 to defeat a House-passed bill (HR 3401) to address the mounting immigration overflow and humanitarian crisis. Drafted by House Democrats, the legislation virtually excluded funding for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and raised standards for the administration’s treatment of hundreds of thousands of migrants in its custody.
The bill allocated about $3 billion for shelter, food, medical care and other services for unaccompanied children held in Department of Health and Human Services facilities. In addition, it provided about $1 billion to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for dealing with the detention, care and processing of individuals applying for asylum. The bill also sought to require stricter oversight of private firms operating detention centers, ensure members of Congress can conduct unannounced inspections of holding facilities and require Congress to be notified within 24 hours when a migrant child dies in federal custody.
The bill was supported by all 37 Democrats who voted, including Menendez, and opposed by 52 Republicans and three Democrats. Eight senators, including Booker, did not vote.
When the bill passed the House on June 25, Van Drew and Kim voted for it.
SENATE, HOUSE, TRUMP AGREE ON BIPARTISAN BILL
The Senate then passed and sent to the House a bipartisan version of the legislation that differed mainly by allowing funding of ICE enforcement actions and omitting most provisions drafted by House Democrats to raise standards of migrant care and increase congressional oversight. The tally was 84-8, with Menendez voting no and Booker not voting.
The next day, June 27, the House passed the bill 305-102, with Van Drew and Kim voting yes. President Donald Trump signed the $4.6 billion bipartisan package into law July 1.