The Senate is going to vote again on a procedural motion to consider a bill reversing President Obama’s executive actions on immigration and fund the Department of Homeland Security.
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellThough flawed, complex Medicaid block grants have fighting chance Sanders: 'If you don't have the guts to face your constituents,' you shouldn't be in Congress McConnell: Trump's speech should be 'tweet free' MORE (R-Ky.) filed a motion to hold additional votes to end a Democratic filibuster of the bill, setting up as many as three more attempts. The votes are expected to take place the last week of February, as Congress will be out of town next week for a recess.
But the decision suggests Senate Republicans want to signal one more time to their House colleagues that they are trying to move the House-approved bill.
McConnell criticized Democrats for blocking the bill, when he announced the procedural vote.
“There’s already a funding bill before us. It already passed the House. It would fund the Department of Homeland Security fully. And we can consider it today, right now. All Democrats have to do is stop blocking the Senate from even debating it,” McConnell said on the floor.
The decision comes as House and Senate Republicans have begun to criticize one another over how to fund the Homeland Security Department. Funding will lapse after Feb. 27.
Senate Republicans have said the House bill is dead in the upper chamber and have asked House Republicans to pass a different bill.
House Republicans have called on the Senate to move their bill and insist they will not take up new legislation. Some conservatives on Thursday called on McConnell to gut the Senate’s filibuster rules and move the Homeland Security measure on a majority vote. Right now, 60 votes are needed to overcome procedural hurdles.
McConnell and Senate Republicans are worried that, if no solution is found, Republicans could be blamed for a partial shutdown of the DHS.
The move is a reversal for McConnell, who days ago announced the House bill was “stuck” because of Democratic opposition and tried to punt the issue back to the House.
Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSanders and Schumer are right: Ellison for DNC chair The Hill's 12:30 Report Hopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs MORE (D-Nev.), said holding additional votes to pressure Democrats defied common sense.
“McConnell just tripled down on the strategy [Sen. John] McCain [R-Ariz.] dubbed ‘definition of insanity,’ filing cloture for 3rd time on failed House DHS bill,” he wrote on Twitter.
On Tuesday, McConnell said “the next move is obviously up to the House” but changed his mind after Republicans on the other side of the Capitol balked at having the bill tossed back into their laps.
“The House has done its job, why don't you go ask the Senate Democrats when they're going to get off their ass and do something other than to vote no?” BoehnerJohn BoehnerHouse markup of ObamaCare repeal bill up in the air Conservatives to Congress: Get moving Boehner: ObamaCare repeal and replace 'not going to happen' MORE told reporters Wednesday.