All 2020 Senate Dems Absent for Vote to Send Humanitarian Relief to Border

Kristen Gillibrand and Cory Booker / Getty Images
June 26, 2019

All seven Democrats in the Senate running for president were absent Wednesday for a vote to send $4.6 billion in emergency humanitarian relief to the southern border to help thousands of migrant families and unaccompanied children.

Less than 24 hours after House Democrats passed a measure Tuesday night, the Republican-controlled Senate rejected it with a 55-37 vote and approved their own measure with overwhelming bipartisan support with a 84-8 vote, according to the Washington Post.

Republicans and the White House far prefer the Senate measure but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pressing for quick negotiations to merge the bills — promising that Democrats won’t knuckle under to demands to send the Senate bill directly to President Donald Trump without changes.

The Senate vote sent the must-pass legislation measure back the Democratic-controlled House. Next steps are unclear, but Pelosi quickly dismissed speculation that the Democratic-controlled House will simply accept the Senate measure, which cleared a key committee last week with just one dissenting vote. Asked if the House would pass the Senate bill and send it to Trump, Pelosi said, "No."

"They passed their bill, we respect that. We passed our bill, we hope they will respect that. And if there’s some improvements that we think can be reconciled," Pelosi said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) slammed House Democrats on the floor Wednesday, saying their priorities revolved around "Resistance theater," adding that the Senate "has a better and more bipartisan way forward."

The 2020 Democratic candidates, which include Sens. Cory Booker (N.J), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), and Bernie Sanders (Vt.), were all out of town campaigning and preparing for the primary debates happening this week.

All three of the 2020 House Democrats, who will be participating in this week's debates, were also absent for Tuesday's border vote, according to Politico reporter Sarah Ferris.

Many of these 2020 Democrats have taken to Twitter to criticize the Trump administration and Republicans for the "humanitarian crisis" at the border, but when it came time to cast a vote supporting humanitarian aid, they were absent.