© Greg Nash
Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsWhere Trump’s travel ban stands Top antitrust senators call for Sessions to scrutinize AT&T-Time Warner merger Dems doubt Trump will show 'heart' toward immigrant kids MORE (R-Ala.) on Tuesday suggested lawmakers should keep a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tied to a controversial fight over immigration.
The Alabama Republican rejected a narrative by Democrats and some Republicans that the immigration provision should be separated from the DHS bill because the issue is currently before the courts.
A Texas judge last week temporarily halted the immigration actions President Obama unveiled last November. The Justice Department on Monday asked for an emergency court ruling to allow Obama's immigration action to go forward.
“There is a reasonable chance that some court will lift the stay and allow the president to begin implementing the amnesty pending a final ruling on the merits of the case. But Congress can stop it, has the duty to stop it in its appropriations bill,” Sessions said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he would “be happy" to pass a clean DHS bill before the Senate considers a measure overturning Obama’s most recent executive actions on immigration.
It’s unclear what the House will do in response to McConnell’s proposal, but Sessions stood by the original House-passed bill, which would fund DHS but reverse Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
“The House of Representatives acted wisely, properly, funding Homeland Security and not allowing activities to be carried out that are unlawful and that Congress has rejected,” he said. “Now, there are some even on the Republican side that say, ‘Oh, gosh, you know the president will blame us even if it’s not our fault and we might as well cave in and give him what he wants.’ ”