WASHINGTON — The fourth time wasn’t the charm for Republicans.
On Monday, Senate Democrats again blocked House-passed legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security on the condition that President Barack Obama reverses his executive actions on immigration. They had filibustered the same bill three times in three consecutive days earlier this month.
The vote was 47 in favor, 46 against, short of the 60 needed to defeat a filibuster.
Anxieties are growing on Capitol Hill, with less than five left before DHS faces a partial shutdown on Friday and no clear path to avoiding it.
“I’m very disappointed,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, “at the political ploy used by congressional Republican leadership to force a shutdown of Homeland Security.”
The next steps are unclear. Democrats remain unified against any DHS bill that stops Obama’s immigration actions, while Republican leaders have shown no signs of backing off their demands.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called the vote Monday the “first opportunity for Democrats to show where they stand after a federal judge preliminarily enjoined the Administration from moving ahead with actions President Obama himself referred to as ‘ignoring the law.’”
After the vote, McConnell put standalone legislation on the calendar to overturn Obama’s immigration actions, outside the DHS funding process. He said he prefers the House bill, but that his alternative offers “another option we can turn to” if Democrats keep filibustering.
This article was updated to include Sen. McConnell’s remarks after the vote.