Tags: Barack Obama | Immigration | senate | republicans | democrats | homeland | security

GOP Slams Senate Democrats for Blocking Vote on DHS Funding

By    |   Tuesday, 03 Feb 2015 11:03 PM

Senate Republicans slammed Democrats Tuesday for blocking action on legislation that finances the Department of Homeland Security and stops President Barack Obama's amnesty orders granting work permits to as many five million illegal immigrants.

"At a time when our country faces serious threats, it is disappointing that Senate Democrats would block funding to the Department of Homeland Security and prevent provisions in this bill from proceeding that would only enhance the security of our nation," said Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe. "Granting amnesty to roughly five million individuals who have broken the law by the way in which they entered the country will only encourage more to flood our porous borders."

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions accused Democrats of "lining up in unison to protect their party, and the interest groups they rely upon, rather than the constituents they represent.

"For decades, the American people have begged and pleaded for a lawful system of immigration that puts their needs," Sessions added. "Politicians can only ignore those demands for so long before the dam breaks."

On a 51-48 vote, the legislation failed to clear the 60-vote threshold so that it could be debated on the Senate floor. All 46 Democrats voted against the bill, while Majority Leader Mitch McConnell switched his vote so that he could bring it back to the floor for a vote later this week.

Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk missed the vote because of weather-related travel problems out of Chicago, while Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller joined with Democrats to oppose the legislation.

"I’ve been adamant about this from day one: leaders in Washington need to address the issue of comprehensive immigration reform," Heller said in a statement after the vote. "We have a broken immigration system that must be fixed.

"Instead of addressing the issue of immigration reform comprehensively, the bill before us today only includes language that complicates the process of finding a solution," he added.

"Until the administration comes to the table with congressional Leadership to craft a viable path forward for both the Department of Homeland Security and comprehensive immigration reform, my stance will remain the same."

Obama's amnesty orders were announced in a prime-time speech on cable television in November. They would grant deportation relief and work permits to as many as five million illegals. They also would extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that he created to protect illegals who were brought to the United States as children.

Democrats said Tuesday that they were willing to finance DHS, as well as debate immigration — but only separately.

However, Republicans charged the Democrats with blocking needed funding in a time of terrorism.

"Democracy doesn’t work if you don’t debate," Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt said after the vote. "Let’s debate the bill, fund the department, and look at what the House tried to do to rectify the damage the president did with the way he has moved forward with these issues."

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took to Facebook to slam the Democrats.

"At a time when we face grave national security threats, it is the height of irresponsibility for Senate Democrats to filibuster DHS funding to protect President Obama's unconstitutional amnesty," he said.

If the bill does not reach the Senate floor, it will be sent back to the House, where Speaker John Boehner must decide how to proceed. He hinted before the vote that the issue would remain in the Senate.

"We won this fight in the House," Boehner said. He called on Sessions and Cruz to gain support for the bill in the upper chamber.

DHS could lose some of its funding on Feb. 27 if Congress doesn't act by then.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Senate Republicans slammed Democrats Tuesday for blocking action on legislation that finances the Department of Homeland Security and stops President Barack Obama's amnesty orders granting work permits to as many five million illegal immigrants.
senate, republicans, democrats, homeland, security, funding, barack obama, amnesty, illegal, aliens, immigration
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2015-03-03
Tuesday, 03 Feb 2015 11:03 PM
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