Republicans Debate DHS Stopgap Bill

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

With hours until funding expires for the Department of Homeland Security, Republicans are moving ahead with a three-week stopgap funding bill intended to allow time for a conference committee with the Senate that is at-odds with the House on immigration policy.

The proposal received a mixed reception from rank-and-file Republicans, with most supporting it but critics both among conservatives and moderates.

On the right, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said he couldn’t vote for a measure that would fund President Obama’s executive amnesty even for a short time period. “It does not make any difference whether the funding is for three weeks, three months, or a full fiscal year. If it’s illegal, it’s illegal,” Brooks said.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), a moderate, expressed concern that the move was just delaying the inevitable pain of a GOP retreat.

“I think we’re just pushing the pain until later. I’m not going to say I will or won’t vote for anything, but we’ll see what happens,” he said.

The plan faces a serious obstacle in that some Senate Democrats would need to vote to allow a conference committee to proceed, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is already vowing to block a conference committee.

Some lawmakers, like Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), expressed doubts over whether the gambit would force the Senate to come to the table.

“I’m waiting to see how our leadership is going to get the Senate to go to conference. Without conference, we’re just punting, and passing the baton on to something else,” he said.

Still, others said that in the event the Senate did not participate in negotiations, it would illustrate the reasonableness of the GOP’s position.

“Three weeks for now, either the Democrats and the President will be exposed for their obstructionism and lack of consideration for, especially, the crisis on our border. Or, we will have a solution, they will work something out in the conference committee,” said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who said he would vote to support it.


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