House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her weekly news conference Thursday expressed the importance of funding humanitarian aid for migrant children at the border, the day after the Senate rejected a supplemental border funding bill which had passed in the House in favor of their own bill.
"If you start endangering children, I become a lioness," Pelosi declared.
Pelosi said she spoke with Mr. Trump on Wednesday, before he left for Asia, as they negotiate funding. But in the middle of Pelosi's press conference, the White House press secretary issued a statement suggesting they're done negotiating.
"The only ones delaying help for the children are the Democrats," the White House said a statement. "They falsely claimed all year that the situation at the border was a 'manufactured crisis' and denied desperately needed humanitarian funding for months. They have refused to work with Republicans to end incentives for the human trafficking that takes advantage of women and children, or to end the surge of cartels bringing in illegal drugs. The administration sent its request for emergency funding 8 weeks ago, but there was no action. We have already negotiated a broadly supported bipartisan funding bill. It is time for House Democrats to pass the Senate bill and stop delaying funding to deal with this very real humanitarian crisis."
The Senate's bipartisan bill, and includes negotiated border security funding language. Now it will be returned to the House for consideration, but Congress is leaving at the end of the week for its Independence Day recess, so there is very little time to reconcile the House and Senate versions.
The House version of the $4.5 billion border funding bill included oversight provisions to hold the administration accountable for the conditions at migrant facilities, and provided no money for border wall construction. However, some progressives in the House voted against the bill because it funded Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Patrol.
Senate lawmakers hope the House will adopt the Senate bill, since it passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Pelosi, asked for her reaction to the shocking photo of the father and daughter face-down in the Rio Grande, paused for a long emotional moment. "Can you just imagine, the father put the little girl on the shore to go back to get the mother and the little girl wanted to be with her father ... he couldn't save her and couldn't save himself."