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Plan Put Forward To Avoid DHS Shutdown

on February 25, 2015 - 8:43am

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

HSNW News:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has put forth a plan to avoid a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shutdown after Senate Democrats on Monday refused to approve a Republican-backed $40 billion DHS appropriation which would defund President Barack Obama’s 2014 immigration actions in order to fund DHS.

According to the Hill, McConnell’s plan would let some Democrats who want to vote against Obama’s 2014 immigration actions do so, while clearing the way for a separate vote on DHS funding.

“Some Democrats give the impression they want Congress to address the overreach. But when they vote, they always seem to have an excuse for supporting actions they once criticized,” McConnell said Monday. “So I’m going to begin proceedings on targeted legislation that would only address the most recent overreach from November.”

“It isn’t tied to DHS funding. It removes their excuse,” he added.

McConnell’s plan would eliminate Obama’s 2014 immigration action to extend deportation deferment to some undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents via the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), but allow a similar 2012 plan for younger undocumented immigrants to continue.

The office of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has announced support of McConnell’s plan. “This vote will highlight the irresponsible hypocrisy of any Senate Democrat who claims to oppose President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration, but refuses to vote to stop it,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement. “If we are going to work together on the American peoples priorities, Washington Democrats must be honest with the people they represent.”

Politico reports that one Senate Democrat, Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has agreed to support McConnell’s proposal.

“I’ve always said we should not fool with Homeland Security,” Manchin said in an interview with Fox and Friends on Tuesday morning. “We shouldn’t send a signal we can’t even get by securing our nation without having it attached to riders or conditions.”

“I said to my Republican friends: Give us a vote on a clean Homeland Security bill,” he continued. “I will support the actions basically on a bill that will prevent the president from his executive action. I would support and vote with them on that. But we need to have a clean vote on the Homeland Security bill.”

The proposal still faces opposition from Democrats who do not want immigration issues tied to DHS funding.

“It’s becoming clear Senator McConnell realizes he must separate himself from the far right, but the bottom line is this proposal doesn’t bring us any closer to actually funding DHS, and Republicans still have no real plan to achieve that goal,” Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY., said in a statement, adding that any immigration debate should happen after Congress passes a bill to fund DHS.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., expressed a similar opinion Monday. “Let’s pass funding for Homeland Security today to show unity against terrorists,” McCaskill tweeted. “Then R’s can bring up immigration for vote immediately after.”

Source: Homeland Security News Wire