Federal Relations

February 4, 2015

Senate Fails to Pass Homeland Security Spending Bill

The Senate failed to evoke cloture and pass the Department of Homeland Security spending bill for FY15. In an ironic twist, Senate Democrats used procedural maneuvers they so railed against in previous congressed to block the measure from moving forward. The 46 Senate Democrats banded together to block the bill from coming to the Senate floor for consideration. To consider the measure by the Senate 60 votes are needed, and the measure failed by a vote of 51-46.

The House passed the $39.7 billion measure (HR 240) earlier this year to fund the Department of Homeland Security. The House measure also contained several controversial provisions to block the Administration’s new immigration policy announced in November 2014.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is expected to try and bring the bill up again later this week. However, there is no clear path forward to funding the Department of Homeland Security for FY15 and addressing the Executive Order which Republicans see as a gross overstep of Executive Power. Republicans see combing the two as the best path forward, while Senate Democrats are insisting they will only pass a clean appropriations bill.