With a short statement Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate will consider a House of Representatives bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security and rolls back some of President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
‘It’s a debate that will challenge our colleagues on the other side with a simple proposition: Do they think presidents of either party should have the power to simply ignore laws that they don’t like?’ McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor. ‘Will our Democratic colleagues work with us to defend key democratic ideals like separation of powers and the rule of law?’
Earlier this month, the House passed a $40 billion measure to fund DHS through September. But Republicans, angry over what they consider executive overreach by Obama, included amendments that would reverse some of his immigration orders.
DHS’s current budget expires Feb. 27 and the agency could face a partial shutdown if Congress fails to act by then. Senate Republicans this week were trying to assess the best way forward on the bill.
Some Republican senators have expressed concerns about the linkage between homeland security funding and the immigration issue, fearing that a protracted battle could adversely impact DHS at a time when terrorist acts have occurred in Canada, Africa, and France.
Congressional Democrats have been pushing for the Senate to take up a so-called ‘clean bill’ that doesn’t connect DHS budget to Obama’s immigration actions. McConnell appeared to give a resounding ‘no’ to that plea Friday.
‘The House-passed bill we’ll consider would do two things: Fund the Department of Homeland Security and rein in executive overreach,’ he said. ‘That’s it. It’s simple, and there’s no reason for Democrats to block it.’