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Pelosi 'reluctantly' caves & agrees to pass a Trump-approved emergency border bill she tried to block

"At the end of the day, we have to make sure that the resources needed to protect the children are available."

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

The House will pass the bipartisan Senate version of an emergency border funding bill on Thursday afternoon, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced, abandoning her opposition to the measure after facing pressure from Republicans, moderate Democrats, and the White House.

In a "Dear Colleague" letter to her fellow Democrats sent out earlier that day, Pelosi explained her reasons for the reversal on the Senate bill.

"At the end of the day, we have to make sure that the resources needed to protect the children are available," Pelosi wrote. "In order to get resources to the children fastest, we will reluctantly pass the Senate bill." She also added that Democrats would do so "with a Battle Cry as to how we go forward to protect children in a way that truly honors their dignity and worth."

News of the reversal came the day after Pelosi initially rejected the idea of bringing up the Senate bill for a vote and just hours after House Democrats blocked Republican efforts to bring it to the floor a total of 81 times.

Earlier in the day, the Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told CNN that Pelosi agreed to take up the Senate's version of the bill after striking a deal with Vice President Mike Pence, who reportedly agreed to "some administrative steps" to address the crisis in exchange for passage of the bipartisan bill.

President Trump had already agreed to sign the Senate version and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he would have tabled any version that came back to his chamber with changes from the House.

Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) and Pramily Jayapal (D-Wash.), however, called the clean Senate version of the legislation "entirely insufficient to protect vulnerable children in our care."

Pelosi's decision also took a hit from the left as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted "Under no circumstances should the House vote for a McConnell-only bill w/ no negotiation with Democrats."

"Hell no," the Democratic freshman continued. "That's an abdication of power we should refuse to accept. They will keep hurting kids if we do."

In reality, the bill was far from a "McConnell-only" measure. It passed out of the Senate by a vote of 84-8 and out of the Senate Appropriations Committee by a vote of 30-1.

UPDATE:

The House passed the Senate-approved version of the emergency border funding bill by a vote of 305-102. The bill now goes to President Trump for signature. 34 more House Democrats voted in favor of the measure than against it. Seven Republicans voted against the measure.

One last thing…
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