Senate Republicans block $2.7 billion bill addressing Central American refugee kids
Border Patrol agents escort a group of undocumented immigrants into custody on May 20, 2013 near the U.S.-Mexico border in Havana, Texas [AFP]

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate legislation giving President Barack Obama $2.7 billion to deal with tens of thousands of Central American migrant children amassing at the southwestern U.S. border was blocked on Thursday by Republican opposition.

By a vote of 50-44, 10 short of the 60 needed, the bill failed to clear a procedural hurdle. Republicans objected to the cost of the measure and complained that it would not be effective in discouraging rising illegal migration of children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

Earlier on Thursday, the House of Representatives failed to pass a $659 million funding bill that the White House had threatened to veto. House Republican leaders are trying to figure out a way to bring a border-security bill back to the chamber for passage.

(Reporting By Richard Cowan and David Lawder; Editing by Sandra Maler)

[Image via Agence France-Presse]