Durbin Vows ‘Fight’ Over House DHS Bill

Durbin Vows ‘Fight’ Over House DHS Bill

The Senate’s No. 2 Democrat says if House Republican leaders follow through on plans to add several immigration riders to a Homeland Security funding bill, they should expect a “fight” in the Senate.

Assistant Senate Minority Leader Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, pushed back hard Tuesday morning against House GOP plans to pass amendments that would defund a number of immigration programs.

“I will tell you this: If this bill comes over from the House of Representatives and this bill eliminates [the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program], puts 1.6 million young [people] into … legal jeopardy of facing deportation and then eliminates the rights of their parents who have children who are citizens or legal residents to stay in this country,” Durbin said, “then we’re going to see a fight on the floor of the United States Senate.”

House Republican leaders are poised to pass a $39.7 billion DHS appropriations bill — but likely with a list of amendments tacked on that target President Barack Obama’s recent immigration action.

At stake is a Department of Homeland Security shutdown in late February, just weeks after gunmen inspired by al-Qaida killed 17 in Paris.

The underlying spending bill, a proposed $400 million hike over the 2014 enacted level for DHS, would fund the US Coast Guard and other agencies that analysts say do billions worth of business annually with defense firms for helicopters, planes, vehicles, ships and other equipment.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters Tuesday that his No. 1 goal is to provide funding for the department for the remainder of fiscal 2015. He listed the immigration riders as a secondary goal.

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