Democrats Filibuster Bill for Homeland Security
As was expected, Senate Democrats have blocked the funding bill for Homeland Security protesting the provisions written by the GOP that would gut a number of years of the White House administration’s directives regarding immigration.
The big question is now what comes next.
Top Senate Republicans indicated strongly that they would attempt to bring up the legislation again after it did not pass with a 51-48 vote.
However, they offered very little explanation of how the new Congress led by the GOP will produce legislation that does not prompt a threat of veto from President Obama.
The Majority Leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell re-filed cloture on the same legislation Tuesday night. This is a rare move procedurally that would allow three additional votes to advance the measure and force the Democrats to block it repeatedly.
House Republicans are pushing McConnell to have multiple votes and that he seems to be able to recognize that he had to show conservatives in the House that virtually no legislation would pass the Senate if it negatively affects the immigration policies of the President.
During a party lunch Tuesday, Republicans engaged in robust and long discussions about options, but no consensus was reached on how to move forward.
Many senators argued that the Democrats had an untenable position of blocking the funding for Homeland Security and eventually would cave in. Others said it did not make sense to push it to the brink when the votes were not there from the GOP overcome the filibuster much less an eventual veto.
GOP senators did not say much publicly on what the fallback strategy was when the DHS funding bill of the House met is inevitable death in the U.S. Senate.
Possibilities that have arisen include funding measures for the short term, a lawsuit that challenges the actions taken by Obama and the passage of legislation for border security.
The last option however, was shelved by some of the GOP conservatives who believe it would open up the possibility for broader legislation for immigration.
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