The GOP-held Senate on Wednesday passed a bipartisan $4.6 billion measure to deliver aid to the southern border before the government runs out of money to care for thousands of migrant families and unaccompanied children. The sweeping 84-8 vote came less than 24 hours after the Democratic-controlled House approved a companion measure backed by party liberals that was weighed down by a White House veto threat and bipartisan rejection by the Senate, the AP reports. The Senate vote sent the must-pass legislation measure back the Democratic-controlled House. Next steps are unclear, but while Republicans and the White House far prefer the Senate measure, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pressing for quick negotiations to merge the bills—and promising that Democrats won't knuckle under to demands to send the Senate bill directly to President Trump without changes.
Pelosi called Trump Wednesday afternoon to discuss the measure. "There's some improvements that we think can be reconciled," Pelosi told reporters. Trump said passing the legislation was urgent as he left the White House for Japan and he appeared to leave the door open for negotiations. "We are moving along very well with a bipartisan bill in the Senate," Trump said. "It's very far along and I believe the House is also going to also be getting together with the Senate to get something done. It's humanitarian aid. It's very important." The final outcome isn't clear. An impasse could imperil passage of the measure, which is needed soon before federal agencies caring for migrants are hamstrung by lack of money. But the Hill and Politico note that the Senate's passage of its bill sets up a fight with the House, and cast doubt on the idea that a compromise will be reached before Congress' weeklong July 4 recess. (More on the House and Senate versions of the bill here.)