Posted: 3:23 pm Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
By Jamie Dupree
Denouncing efforts by Republicans to block implementation of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, Senate Democrats used a filibuster to block a GOP bill designed to roll back those immigration changes, leaving funding for the Department of Homeland Security in limbo.
The vote to force a start to debate on the House-passed bill was 51-48; 60 votes were needed to officially get that measure to the Senate floor.
The vote was mainly along party lines, with Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) joining Democrats to block the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell switched his vote to “No” for procedural reasons, in order to force another procedural vote, which may happen later this week.
After the vote, Senators of both parties exchanged bitter jabs on the floor.
“All they have to do is present a clean funding bill for Homeland Security,” said Sen. Clare McCaskill (D-MO), who accused Republicans of “trying to play a political trick” by including the immigration language in the DHS funding bill.
“Why in the world is it that Senate Democrats won’t even allow this particular legislation to be debated?” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
Boehner jabs at conservative critics
Several hours before the Senate vote, Speaker John Boehner tweaked some of his more conservative critics in the Senate, reminding Republican voters that he had already done his part to overturn the President’s actions.
“We won this fight in the House,” Boehner said, as he directly called out two GOP Senators who have rallied rank-and-file Republicans against the Speaker on several issues.
“It’s time for Senator Cruz and Senator Sessions, and Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats, to stand with the American people and block the President’s actions,” Boehner said.
It’s not clear what Republicans would do next, as Democrats and the President say any plan that has immigration restrictions will be blocked before it can get to the White House.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.