Supporters of Charlie Gard, the 11-month-old British boy who was effectively given a death sentence by a United Kingdom court last month, got good news from the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday.
It's not quite as good as some media outlets in the U.S. and UK have reported, though.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., tacked on an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill that would grant, upon their request, a visa for Charlie and his parents. And, if they enter the U.S. before requesting a visa, they are to be treated as lawful legal permanent residents of the country.
Click here to see the full wording of the amendment. The measure was adopted unanimously by the House Appropriations Committee.
Contrary to mainstream media reports, this is not yet a "done deal" for Charlie and his parents. The legislation still has to be passed by the full House, then Senate before it can go to President Donald Trump for his signature. But, because it is a budget bill, it is "filibuster proof" and does not require the 60 votes needed to leap over the Senate's arcane debate rules.
That could happen yet this week or early next week.
However, the Homeland Security budget is perhaps one of the most contentious pieces of legislation in Congress because it funds much of the president's immigration agenda, including the wall for America's southern border with Mexico. Democrats could declare the amendment a "poison pill" and refuse to support the bill, tightening the margin of success to the Senate's now 51 voting Republicans.
With media in the U.S. and the U.K. misreporting the facts, it's also important to note that Charlie does not become a U.S. citizen if this legislation is adopted. It merely allows him and his parents to automatically receive a visa upon request, which will allow them to remain in our country for the duration of his treatment.
Dr. Michio Hirano, a world-renowned neuroscientist from Columbia University who specializes in cases like Charlie's, rushed to London last week to examine the child and to review his medical files. Following a brain scan, which showed a relatively good prognosis—up to a "56 percent chance" of success—he reportedly spent more than five hours, joined by another expert from the Vatican's Bambino Gesu Children's Hospital, trying to convince his U.K. doctors his experimental treatment will work.
There is still much about this matter we should be praying over.
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