Senate Passes ‘Clean’ DHS Funding Bill

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

The Senate passed a Department of Homeland Security funding bill free of the House-passed provisions to block President Obama’s executive amnesty on a vote of 68-31 Friday.

The appropriations package would fund DHS through September 30. It would not halt executive amnesty.

The vote comes after weeks of a Democrat filibuster of the House-passed DHS funding bill that would have defunded executive amnesty. After nearly a month of Democrats blocking consideration of the bill, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acquiesced to Democrat demands and moved to a so-called “clean” DHS bill, free of the controversial riders.

Meanwhile the House is poised to move on a short-term DHS bill, one that would fund the department for three weeks to allow a conference committee time to potentially try to reconcile the chambers’ divergent DHS bills.

Following the vote to fund DHS, the Senate was set to vote on a second, separate bill, offered by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) that would block just President Obama’s November 20 executive actions.

“Remember: President Obama said more than 20 times he couldn’t take those kinds of actions. He even referred to overreach like that as ‘ignoring the law.’ So Senator Collins’ measure simply takes the President at his word, and helps him follow the law instead of ignoring it,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Friday morning.

He further noted that a number of Senate Democrats — who voted repeatedly to block the House-passed DHS bill — voiced opposition to Obama’s executive amnesty in the past and should demonstrate their opposition.

“The Collins bill also provides Democrats who led their constituents to believe they’d address executive overreach with a chance to show they were at least a little bit serious. Democrats won’t achieve that by filibustering Homeland Security. And Democrats won’t achieve it by holding hypocritical press conferences, just hours after voting to block funding for DHS,” he said, adding passing the Collins bill is “the least these Democrats owe their constituents.”

Senate Democrats, however, again blocked consideration of the Collins bill.

Funding for DHS expires at midnight.


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