Before Voting to Impeach Trump, House Democrats Gave Him $1.4B for His Wall

Yesterday, the day before House Democrats were set to vote on impeaching Donald Trump, they voted to authorize $1.4 billion for Trump’s wall and higher funding levels for CBP and ICE, without any actual accountability.

Trump’s attempt to get the Ukrainian government to interfere with our elections was bad. But what Trump has been doing at the border has been even worse: a moral atrocity with lasting damage.

Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) slammed the bill in a statement:

“The bill before us today will not stop the abuse and wrongful detention of people in custody, nor will it prevent the Trump Administration from misusing federal funds to advance their horrific mass detention and deportation agenda. We also find it offensive that at a time when millions of families can’t afford to put food on the table, this bill wastes $1.375 billion on the pointless, immoral border wall.

“In addition to the open-ended funding for DHS, this bill provides upwards of $700 billion in Pentagon spending, a staggering sum for an agency that has not been able to pass an audit and shown zero interest in addressing the rampant waste, fraud and abuse under its roof. It’s indefensible for President Trump and Congressional Republicans to demand a blank check to defense contractors while working families are forced to choose between paying for their medication or their mortgage.

“We cannot support legislation which enables a cruel President and Administration to continue to use immigrants as political pawns and ignore the will of Congress by transferring money that was authorized for essential priorities to the President’s own vanity projects. We will be voting no.”

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus also came out against the bill:

“The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has made our priorities clear for months to both appropriators and Congressional leaders. Nevertheless, today’s Homeland Security minibus maintains high numbers of ICE detention beds and does not include restrictions to stop the Administration from robbing accounts across the government to fund its anti-immigrant agenda, which has denied the human dignity to thousands of families and resulted in rapes, kidnapping, mass suffering, and even death at our border. Moreover, it allows this Administration to continue ramping up confiscation of American private property in order to build President Trump’s border wall. For these reasons, the CHC opposes the FY20 Homeland Security minibus that the House will be voting on this afternoon.

The bill passed easily 280 to 138. Democrats voted for it 150 to 75; Republicans 130 to 62. Interestingly enough, approximately the same 2:1 ratio in each case.

Here are the 75 Democrats who voted against it:

Most, but not all, voted against the bill for the above reasons. Ben McAdams, a conservative Democrat from Utah, condemned the bill (and the domestic spending bill the House also voted on) for being “ hastily rushed through the House with little time for reading or review” despite their

Disappointingly, despite the condemnation from the CPC, many of the caucus’s members still voted for the bill. Caucus vice chair David Cicilline (RI-01), Katherine Clark (MA-05), and Debbie Dingell (MI-12) all voted for it. Special Order Hour Convener Katie Porter (CA-45) voted for it.

They were joined by 29 more CPC members: Alma Adams (NC-12), Don Beyer (VA-08), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Andre Carson (IN-07), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Gil Cisneros (CA-39), Lacy Clay (MO-01), Angie Craig (MN-02), Danny Davis (IL-07), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Steve Horsford (NV-04), Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Mike Levin (CA-48), David Loebsack (IA-02), Joe Morelle (NY-25), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Brad Sherman, Frederica Wilson (FL-24), and John Yarmuth (KY-03).

Over in the Senate, the bill passed bill 88–11. The Democratic NO votes were Tom Carper (D-DE), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). Schumer’s NO is meaningless given his doing nothing to meaningfully oppose the bill. None of the senators issued a statement about their vote.

The only senator running for president who was present was Michael Bennet (D-CO), and he, true to “centrist” form, voted yes.

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