Members of Congress returned to Capitol Hill Monday with a full slate including a looming Homeland Security funding vote amid a partisan fight over immigration reform, The Hill reported
Five days remain for the lawmakers to come up with a deal as the Senate votes Monday night to open debate on a bill delivered to them from the House, but one that contains a divisive provision — overturning President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, The Hill said.
Democrats planned to launch a fourth filibuster on the bill, Politico reported
of the rancor as the clock ticks and amid fears of security lapses, should no funding compromise occur.
But while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said a bill passing seemed unlikely, his House counterpart John Boehner urged senators to stop the squabbling.
"The House passed a bill weeks ago to fund the Department of Homeland Security. Now, Senate Democrats need to stop filibustering to block debate on that bill," noted Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel to the Hill.
Passage of a continuing resolution might offer a stop-gap solution for allowing Homeland funding to continue for a time, but Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson urged a full decision, noting the heightened urgency as global security concerns mount. He had previously warned of a furlough of about 30,000 DHS employees if a spending bill does not pass.
"It's bizarre and absurd that we're even having this discussion in these challenging times, given the global terrorist threat we've just been talking about, given the harsh winter we're in the midst of, and all the other things that we do," Johnson said Sunday in an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Several Republican senators, including John McCain, Bob Corker and Lindsey Graham, however, said they had a clear path on immigration with the recent federal court ruling that it was unconstitutional, The Hill added.
"I hope Republicans will come together and back the court case, file a friend of the court brief with the court and fund DHS," Graham told ABC News
. "I am willing and ready to pass a DHS funding bill and let this play out in court."
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