Cummings Statement on Passage of the Senate Version of the Humanitarian Supplemental Appropriations Bill

June 27, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (June 27, 2019) – Today, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (MD-07) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to concur with the Senate’s Amendments to H.R. 3401, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, 2019:


“The humanitarian crisis at the southern border is a tragedy.  We have a moral obligation to immediately address this crisis and ease the suffering of children and families that have crossed our Southern border.  That is why I voted in favor of the Senate’s version of the humanitarian supplemental appropriations bill, despite its shortcomings.


“When the House passed our bill earlier this week, we included provisions to ensure that the health and safety of children and families were the paramount concern.  The House included language requiring Customs and Border Protection to establish plans, standards, and protocols to ensure the health and safety of all in custody—this included standards for medical care, nutrition, and hygiene.  We also included language to establish a 90-day detention limit for any unaccompanied child located in an influx shelter and to ensure that any contractor who failed to meet the standards under the Flores settlement was replaced.  Such provisions would have immediately eased the suffering of vulnerable children.


“The House version also included desperately needed oversight provisions, including reporting requirements.  It required that Members of Congress be allowed to visit facilities caring for unaccompanied children without prior notice so that we can fully know what is going on at these facilities.  Instead of including these critical protections, the Senate version provides over $80 million more for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


“I am deeply disappointed that the Senate did not include any of these important provisions in their amendment.  However, the health and safety of children must come first.  When we passed this bill, we did it acknowledging that we must continue to move forward and protect children and families.  America is better than this.”