Watch LIVE

The Senate finally passed a DHS spending bill, but the House is already ignoring it


The Senate passed a full-year Department of Homeland Security funding bill Friday morning, but it was already being ignored by House Republicans who were moving ahead with a three-week funding bill.

In a 68-31 vote, the Senate passed a DHS funding bill for the rest of fiscal year 2015, one that doesn't block President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration. Removing the immigration language was the only way the bill could move ahead, as Democrats opposed that language and blocked the bill several times over the last few weeks.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) managed to pass a clean DHS bill Friday, but it was already being ignored by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Image: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

To get there, the Senate voted to take up the House bill that had language defunding Obama's immigration plans, replace it with a bill that stripped out the immigration, and then vote to pass that "clean" version.

But even as the Senate was voting, the House was moving separately to pass a three-week DHS funding bill. While it's not clear how another three weeks might change the debate, Republicans portrayed it as a chance to keep the fight alive against Obama's immigration plan.

"We are not giving in to Senate Democrats' blackmail," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) tweeted. "Will keep fighting Obama's unilateral action on #immigration to protect #Constitution."

Three more weeks might also bring some clarity about the ongoing legal challenge to Obama's action. A federal court has imposed an injunction against those actions, and the Obama administration has asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to stay that order.

In the meantime, Senate Democrats as of Friday morning had not publicly conceded that they will have to have to accept the House's three-week bill. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has avoided questions about whether Democrats could agree to the three-week bill, and on Friday he again said the House's only choice is to pass the full-year funding bill.

"We will not go to conference on some jury-rigged situation they send back," he said.

Senate Republicans were already looking ahead to trying to take up a separate bill to defund Obama's immigration plan.

"It's common-sense legislation that would protect our democracy from the egregious example of executive overreach we saw in November," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. "It deserves broad support."

However, most Democrats as expected blocked that bill from advancing. The Senate voted 57-42 in favor of the bill, but because 60 votes were needed, it failed to advance. Democrats are expected to block consideration of that bill at least until DHS is funded.

Most recent
All Articles