For the second time in two days, Senate Democrats blocked the start of debate on a House-passed bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security, using a filibuster to thwart a Republican plan to prevent implementation of President Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration.
“The bill is absolutely ridiculous,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), as he and other Senate Democrats made no apologies for the quick turn that their party has made on the filibuster since going into the minority.
“You don’t load up a homeland security bill with amendments on immigration,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
Republicans weren’t exactly sold on the delaying tactics by Democrats.
“On the one hand, they’re arguing we need a clean bill,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA). “On the other hand, they’re blocking the bill from coming to the floor for debate.”
“I get it,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK). “It’s the politics of it.”
Republicans decided to keep forcing Democrats to filibuster, setting another cloture vote for Thursday to shut off debate on the motion to start action on the bill.
Obama hosts DREAMERs, vows veto of GOP plan
At the White House, President Obama joined Democrats in casting blame on the GOP for the drama over funding for the Department of Homeland Security, as he met with a group of younger immigrants who had been brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents – the group known as “DREAMERs.”
“I want to be as clear as possible: I will veto any legislation that got to my desk that took away the chance of these young people who grew up here and who are prepared to contribute to this country that would prevent them from doing so,” the President said to reporters in the Oval Office.
The Department of Homeland Security runs out of budget money on February 27.