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Senate committee approves border crisis spending bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved $ 4.6 billion in emergency money Wednesday to help care for the illegal immigrant children and families surging at the border, giving President Trump all the money he wanted — but not exactly how he wanted it.

The panel approved the bill on a 30-1 vote, with both Republicans and Democrats saying what’s going on at the border is a crisis that needs immediate action.

“The situation is past the breaking point. We must act,” said Sen. Richard Shelby, the Republican chairman of the committee.

Wednesday’s vote is just the start of the process. The bill must clear the full Senate — though the committee vote suggests that’s likely — and then there must be action in the House, where Democrats have been less eager to tackle the border issue.

The bill gives Mr. Trump $ 2.9 billion in money for the federal Health Department, which was about to run out of money to care for the illegal immigrant children in its care.

It also pours money into Homeland Security to provide better care for children and families in its custody — but it does not give U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement new money for detention beds, leaving a shortfall that Homeland Security officials say will mean leaving criminals out on the streets.

Democrats have been reluctant to approve more ICE bed money, fearing being seen supporting a law enforcement agency that some of them want to abolish.

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