June 19, 2019
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, today voted in favor of an emergency funding bill to strengthen security and address the humanitarian crisis at the southern border. The bill was approved by the Appropriations Committee by a vote of 30-1.
“There’s clearly a humanitarian crisis at the border,” said Blunt. “In May alone, about 10,000 unaccompanied children -- more than 320 a day -- came across the border and were referred to the Department of Health and Human Services. HHS has repeatedly warned Congress that they are running out of money to take care of these kids. We have to act now before this crisis gets any worse. Our committee came together in a strong, bipartisan way to move forward on emergency funding and we’ll continue working to get this bill to the president’s desk.”
The Department of Health and Human Services currently has more than 13,700 children in their care and they have fewer than 450 available beds. More than 1,400 children are in Department of Homeland Security custody waiting to be transferred to HHS. The bill advanced by the committee today includes $2.88 billion, the full amount requested by the president, for HHS to provide care and shelter for unaccompanied children in its custody.