House Dem criticizes abortion, immigration language in DHS spending bill

"Until now, our bill has never touched on the issue of abortion," added Price, who is the ranking member of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security.

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Price also criticized language that requires DHS to maintain at least 34,000 "detention beds" for illegal immigrants, which he said was "arbitrary" and could lead to wasted taxpayer dollars if fewer beds are needed.

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), who chairs the subcommittee, defended the immigration language as necessary given the relaxed Obama administration stance on immigration enforcement.

"In response to the administration's repeated attempts to water down enforcement, this bill directs ICE to maintain 34,000 detention beds," Aderholt said. "Our subcommittee is serious about compelling the Department to not only enforce the law, but to comply with the law as well, and we cannot tolerate further failures in this regard."

Aderholt also proposed the abortion amendment that Price complained about, although he did not speak about this change on the House floor.

House began debate on the DHS spending bill, H.R. 5855, on Wednesday afternoon, and was expected to debate various amendments into the evening.

The bill spends $39.1 billion, nearly $500 million less than last year. Much of those savings come from a nearly $200 million cut to the Transportation Security Administration.