Senate sets up first vote on House DHS bill

The Senate will hold a procedural vote Tuesday afternoon on a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and roll back President Obama’s immigration actions, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSchumer: 'Virtually impossible' to reach deal on Gorsuch Two Dems announce they'll vote for Gorsuch Pence breaks tie, allowing Senate to revoke Obama order on abortion provider funding MORE (R-Ky.) said Friday.  

Scheduled for 2:30 p.m., it will be the first of several votes next week before the upper chamber can proceed to the final vote on the bill, which the House passed earlier this month.

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Senate Democrats are expected to oppose the motion. A number of senators, including Republicans, have said for weeks the measure is almost certainly doomed because it can’t receive the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

Meanwhile, President Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Senate Democrats have engaged in a full-throttle campaign to pressure Republicans to drop the bill and pass a clean DHS funding bill instead.

The clock is now ticking — Congress must pass a new spending bill for the DHS by Feb. 27 or the department will shut down.

On the Senate floor Thursday, Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiAfter 30 years celebrating women’s history, have we made enough progress? DC restaurant owners sue Trump hotel over unfair competition: report Meet the Trump pick who could lead Russia probe MORE (D-Md.), the ranking member on the Appropriations Committee, said the GOP should stop its “tamper-tantrum politics” and pass a bill that excludes immigration riders.

“What will slow us down is if we get into an intense debate on immigration and riders that try to stop the activities of President Obama,” she said. “I would strongly recommend to my colleagues: Do not play politics with the security with the United States of America.”

Three former DHS secretaries, including two who served under former President George W. Bush — Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff — wrote to McConnell and Reid this week urging the Senate to decouple the immigration amendments from the measure. 

Mikulski and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenOvernight Finance: CBO predicts budget deficits, debt to hit new highs in 30 years | Meet Trump’s Ms. Fix-It | Trump, Mnuchin talk tax reform | Mexico's B windfall Overnight Finance: Dems seek probe of acting SEC chief | Defense hawks say they won't back short-term funding | Senate seen as start point for Trump infrastructure plan | Dems want more money for IRS Overnight Finance: WH wants to slash billions | Border wall funding likely on hold | Wells Fargo to pay 0M over unauthorized accounts | Dems debate revamping consumer board MORE (D-N.H.), the ranking member on the Appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security, filed a new DHS spending bill that’s free of the immigration amendments and is based on a bipartisan, bicameral agreement from December.