In it, but not of it. TPM DC

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers are anxiously bracing for a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security at the end of the week, even as the Senate took steps to try to end the stalemate on Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced an agreement to hold separate votes on a "clean" Homeland Security funding bill and on a bill to block President Barack Obama's immigration executive actions. De-linking the two issues is a reversal of course for McConnell after he failed repeatedly to break a Democratic filibuster on legislation that conditions DHS funding on stopping Obama's actions.

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WASHINGTON — Republicans just blinked on immigration.

The months-long standoff over President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration took a major turn late Monday when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) proposed decoupling funding for the Department of Homeland Security from legislative action against Obama on deportations.

The threat of withholding DHS funding to block Obama's immigration moves has been the centerpiece of the GOP's political strategy for months. McConnell's proposal to de-link them is a sign that he's trying to find a way out of a battle that GOP leaders in both chambers never really wanted, but which has been pushed by hard-liners within the party.

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