For the third straight day, Senate Democrats have refused to give in to Republican hostage-taking tactics by blocking a Republican attempt to use Homeland Security funding to overturn President Obama’s executive orders on immigration.
The House-passed bill that would fund Homeland Security failed to get the votes needed to advance. The Senate vote was 52-47 in favor of moving the bill forward, but Republicans remain eight votes short of the number required for advancement.
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) made it clear that Democrats will not support a Homeland Security funding bill that contains immigration provisions, “We would love to debate immigration. We’ve done it here on the Senate floor before. It was a wonderful bipartisan debate, and we’re willing to do it again but the American people are crying out that we defend our homeland. They’re doing it around the rest of the world. Why shouldn’t we? That is what this is all about. If Republicans want to debate immigration we can go right ahead and do that. But not on the back of homeland security.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) summed up the Democratic position by saying, “We are not into hostage-taking.”
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is desperately trying to spin the Democratic filibuster as opposition to Homeland Security funding, “Why would Democrats go to the mat to protect the political class from the consequences of overreach President Obama has referred to as ‘ignoring the law’? Well, here’s the good news. There’s a way forward. There’s a way to end this Democrat filibuster. All it requires is a little common sense and a little Democrat courage. Remember: Several Democrats previously indicated unease with the idea of politicians overreaching in ways President Obama has seemed to imply would ‘violate the law.’ So now is the time to back those words up. Now is the time for Democrats of good conscience to vote with us to break their party’s filibuster of Homeland Security funding and help us protect American democracy.”
McConnell’s questioning of Democratic courage is the biggest sign yet that he’s got nothing.
Republicans know that the only Homeland Security funding bill that they are going to get through the Senate is a clean bill with no immigration provisions. McConnell’s problem is that House Republicans are unlikely to pass a clean funding bill until they absolutely have to. If Homeland Security is forced to shut down, Republicans will be blamed.
The Republican congressional majority is getting nothing done, and the extremists in the House Republican caucus are poised to drag down Mitch McConnell’s failing Senate majority.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association