A bid to block the plans by president Barack Obama regarding homeland security and immigration looks likely to hit a wall in the US Senate.
The Republicans have been hell bent on putting a stop to plans by president Obama regarding his controversial immigration bill and had hoped that when they took control of both houses that they would be able to force Obama into a veto or block proceedings for long enough for them not to go ahead. However in a surprise turn of events the Republicans have failed to block the immigration bill which has led the party looking for direction on how best to proceed.
According to a report by Reuters, Congress faces a deadline of February 27th to renew funding for the department, which spearheads domestic counterterrorism efforts and secures U.S. borders, airports and coastal waters.
If there is a political showdown over the issue then the department would be left critically short of funding at a time when the possibility of a terrorist attack on the country has never been higher in recent years.
According to Reuters, Senate Democrats have vowed to block a House-approved DHS spending bill in a procedural vote on Tuesday afternoon. The bill would deny funding for Obama’s executive actions on immigration, and Obama has already threatened to veto the measure.
The problem lies in the fact that 60 votes are need to move the bill on to the next stage but the Republicans only have a 54 vote majority which means that they would need to count on the support of a minimum of six Democrats and that is looking like being very unlikely to happen at any point.
House Speaker John Boehner said to Reuters that he held out hope the Senate would approve the measure banning any spending to implement Obama’s recent executive orders that lift the threat of deportation from millions of undocumented immigrants.
“The goal here is not to run DHS out of money. The goal is to stop the president’s overreach,” Boehner told reporters.
When he was asked if he would be supporting a further funding extension for the department of homeland security he told reporters: “Why don’t we wait until the United States Senate acts? And then we can decide what the next steps are,” but failed to rule out the possibility.
According to Reuters, the Republican Representative John Carter of Texas, who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee for Homeland Security, said he would prefer a “clean” DHS funding bill to cutting off the agency’s funding or passing another short-term extension.
“We’d lose a lot of awfully good stuff in that bill,” Carter said, adding Republicans are “all over the board” on what to do next.