Funding hoped to ease a swelling migrant crisis on the nation's southern border following outrage over a shocking photograph of a Salvadoran man and his daughter drowned in river Rio Grande.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday bowed to pressure from President Donald Trump's Republicans as Congress approved $4.6 billion in emergency aid to ease a swelling migrant crisis on the nation's southern border.
One day after the Senate passed the measure, the House of Representatives followed suit with a bipartisan vote of 305 to 102 that sends the bill to the president's desk.
Pelosi and Democrats had wanted additional language that would ensure better protection of migrant children but conceded to Republicans when they failed to move the needle.
"At the end of the day, we have to make sure that the resources needed to protect the children are available," Pelosi told Democrats before the vote.
The legislation contains more than $1 billion to shelter and feed migrants detained by the border patrol and almost $3 billion to care for unaccompanied migrant children who are turned over the Department of Health and Human Services.
It rejects an administration request for additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention beds, however, and contains provisions designed to prevent federal immigration agents from going after immigrants living in the country illegally who seek to care for unaccompanied children.
Lawmakers to be notified of child deaths
Meanwhile the US Vice President Michael Pence, in a telephone conversation with Pelosi, agreed that lawmakers would be notified within 24 hours after the death of a child migrant held in custody at the US-Mexico border, a source familiar with the conversation said.
Pence also agreed to a 90-day limit on the amount of time migrant children can spend in a border intake facility, the source said.
Both of these conditions had been proposed by House Democratic leaders in amendments that they abandoned earlier Thursday after opposition from the White House, the Senate and some moderate Democrats.
Earlier a shocking photograph of a Salvadoran man and his baby daughter drowned in the Rio Grande fueled a surge of emotion around the world as US Democrats furiously denounced Trump's immigration policies.
"Trump is responsible for these deaths," said Beto O'Rourke, one of several Democratic White House hopefuls who took to Twitter to lash out at the president.
Former vice president Joe Biden, who is also seeking the presidency in 2020, called the image "gut-wrenching."
"History will judge how we respond to the Trump administration's treatment of immigrant families & children – we can't be silent," he said.