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Ayanna Pressley one of four Democrats to vote ‘no’ on border aid bill

Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press/Associated Press

On Tuesday the House of Representatives passed a $4.5 billion emergency border aid package to care for thousands of migrant families and unaccompanied children detained after crossing the US-Mexico border.

The bill passed 230-195, nearly along party lines. But it included a progressive defection from four of the House’s highest-profile young Democrats, including Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, who voted “no” on the measure.

Pressley was joined by Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. The quartet said in a press release this weekend that they could not “in good conscience” support the measure.


“It is absolutely unconscionable to even consider giving one more dollar to support this President’s deportation force that openly commits human rights abuses and refuses to be held accountable to the American people,” the congresswomen said in a statement.

The four were the only Democrats to vote “no” on the funding bill. Three Republicans crossed the aisle to vote “yes.”

The House bill faces an uphill battle to passage in the Senate, in part because the White House has indicated that President Trump would likely veto the spending bill if it reaches his desk. A similar measure with fewer restrictions on spending has drawn bipartisan support in the Senate.

Many children detained entering the US from Mexico have been held under harsh conditions, and Customs and Border Protection Chief Operating Officer John Sanders told The Associated Press last week that children have died after being in the agency’s care. He said Border Patrol stations are holding 15,000 people — more than triple their maximum capacity of 4,000.

Material from Globe wire services was used in this report. Peter Bailey-Wells can be reached at peter.bailey-wells@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @pbaileywells.