Two Democrats joined Senate Republicans in blocking the bill, which would have provided $2.7 billion in emergency funding for the southern U.S. border.
“Sí, se puede!” the crowd chanted. “Obama, don’t deport my mama!”
In a 63-33 vote, the bill was advanced past the debate stage and now heads for a final vote, but the chances of the Republican-led House of Representatives taking up the bill looks to be murky at best.
Congress is preparing to go on a five-week recess this Wednesday.
“By allowing them to enlist we … ensure that all branches of our military stay fully staffed,” Rep. Polis (D-Colo.) said.
“Don’t hold the children hostage to the cosmetics of how tough you are on the border,” Pelosi said.
The Pentagon currently houses 2,500 undocumented children, on three military bases, who have fled Central America where crime is on the rise.
“I’m far more concerned about children being penned up and cooped up in conditions that look a lot more like kennels than they look like the way a humane country should be treating refugee kids,” O’Malley said.
Hoyer hopes that Boehner will bring the initial request from the Obama administration of $4.3 billion in funds to the floor within the next ten days.
“This really is a federal issue that needs to be solved, and it feels like to me we’re trying to deal with it too far downstream,” Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said.