The emergency funding bill passed the House despite opposition from 191 out of 194 Republicans.
On Tuesday night, the House of Representatives passed a $4.5 billion emergency funding bill to ensure that children locked up in Trump administration detention centers get adequate food and proper medical care. The measure passed by a 230-195 margin, largely along party lines with most Democrats supporting it and all but three Republicans opposing it.
The bill would require the Customs and Border Protection agency to come up with new health and safety guidelines for immigrants in its care, and it would bar the federal government from contracting with facilities that don't provide proper food, medical care, and personal hygiene items such as toothbrushes, according to the Washington Post.
The Trump White House opposes the House bill, going so far as to issue a veto threat saying in part that the House bill "seeks to take advantage of the current crisis by inserting policy provisions that would make our country less safe." The veto threat does not spell out how providing toddlers with diapers, soap, and toothbrushes would endanger Americans.
The fact that Congress has to lay out such basic guidelines is baffling to some legislators, including Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
"I don't even know how to describe the idea that we have to tell them: You've got to provide food and water to these kids," Jayapal told the Post. "But that's what we're doing."
Democrats in Congress feel the new guidelines are necessary based on recent reports that some children are held in detention centers that one doctor compared to "torture facilities." Dolly Lucio Sevier, a board-certified physician, visited the detention camps to find kids traumatized, sleeping on concrete floors with the lights on 24 hours a day, and living in unsanitary conditions. Lawyers for the jailed children said kids were being fed uncooked frozen food and that some had not bathed in weeks.
Trump blamed Democrats for the cruelty inflicted by his own administration — and now he's threatening to veto an emergency funding bill aimed at improving conditions for infants, toddlers, and children.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.