Rep. Reed: Democratic Leadership Almost Derailed Border Humanitarian Package

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – New York 23rd District Congressman Tom Reed said the $4.6 billion humanitarian aid package just passed by the House will only address the current “short-term crisis” at the border. He said Congress has more to do on immigration.

FILE – In this Nov. 6, 2017 file photo, Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“We are going to have to deal with what is causing this humanitarian crisis,” he said. “And that is a broken immigration system and that includes border security, that includes dealing with the folks that are here illegally.”

Read represents part of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes including Ithaca, Corning and Hornell.

The bill provides humanitarian aid to help children held in detention facilities at the United States and Mexico border. It passed the House after a rift among Democrats over changes in the Senate version of the package.

House Democrats gave up provisions to strengthen protections for migrant children held in detention and hold contractors accountable for failing to provide adequate care. The battle over voting against the funding or settling for the weaker compromise divided Democrats in the House.

But, Reed sees the vote as a clear message to the Democratic leadership.

“We want to deliver this relief to the humanitarian crisis to the border immediately,” he said. “And not play political games or any type of extremism in regards to blocking or creating gridlock in the House.”

Reed partly credited the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group he co-chairs, with the success of the bill.

However, Democratic representative Mark Pocan of Wisconsin did not appreciate the role of the Problem Solvers. “Since when did the Problem Solvers Caucus become the Child Abuse Caucus?” He asked on Twitter. “Wouldn’t they want to at least fight against contractors who run deplorable facilities? Kids are the only ones who could lose today.”

In the final vote more House Republicans than Democrats supported the bill.