WASHINGTON — US senators are mulling a GOP leader’s plan to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but one analyst says Republican infighting could lead to an agency shutdown.
With DHS funding to expire Friday night, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Monday evening announced a potential way forward. He said in a statement he would introduce a bill targeting the White House’s recent immigration action that the chamber could vote on separately from a DHS appropriations bill.
“Now, my preference is still to debate and pass the funding legislation that’s currently before us. It’s already passed the House,” McConnell said. “It’s the simplest and easiest way forward. And if Democrats think it needs to be amended, I’m sure they’ll try to do that. They just need to let us bring it to the floor first.
“But as long as Democrats continue to prevent us from even doing that, the new bill I described offers another option we can turn to,” he said. “It’s another way to get the Senate unstuck from a Democrat filibuster and move the debate forward.”
The House last month approved a $39.7 billion DHS appropriations bill that covers the remainder of fiscal 2015. It includes billions for equipment built by US defense firms, like Coast Guard ships and aircraft.