Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) on Tuesday admitted that Democrats in the Senate are blocking a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security — something that many other Democrats have been unable to say in public.
"Last night, the Senate rightly so, the Democrats held up and blocked, and the bill was not successful, to have [DHS] funding tied to the elimination of the executive… actions," Jackson Lee said on C-SPAN. "Rightly so."
Jackson Lee admitted easily what Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson couldn't over the weekend, when he was asked about Democrats blocking the bill. "Democrats are not blocking debate," he said on Fox News.
Democrats have blocked the DHS funding bill five times, including in a Monday night vote that gave the Senate just four days to find a way forward before DHS funding expires on Friday.
As Jackson Lee noted, Democrats oppose the DHS bill because it includes language to defund President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration. Democrats have said Republicans should not be combining the two issues, and have said a federal court's recent decision to block Obama's action should allow Republicans to remove the immigration language from the bill.
"You would almost say that that bill is moot, because there is a court proceeding as we speak, and the court has rendered a temporary judgment," Jackson Lee argued.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday he would try another way to attack Obama's immigration plan, in a bid to draw out more Democratic senators who have said they oppose Obama's move. Jackson Lee she welcomed what could be a decision to vote on a "clean" DHS spending bill, but McConnell has yet to say this will happen.