Approps panel hopes to release DHS spending bill Friday

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that he hopes to unveil a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill on Friday for the rest of the fiscal year. 

Congress must pass a new spending bill funding the DHS by Feb. 27 or the agency could shut down.

Rogers said he hopes the House will consider the funding bill next week.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has not yet made a decision on DHS funding but is discussing options with GOP lawmakers that could involve language defunding President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. 

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“No decisions have been made. Discussions are productive and remain ongoing,” a GOP leadership aide told The Hill on Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell'Comrade' Trump gets 'endorsement' from Putin in new mock ad by Lincoln Project ACLU calls on Congress to approve COVID-19 testing for immigrants Carville repeats prediction that Trump will drop out of race MORE (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that the Senate would consider DHS funding in February and promised the department would remain open. 

Several GOP lawmakers, including Reps. Mick Mulvaney (S.C.), Martha RobyMartha Dubina RobyThe 14 other key races to watch on Super Tuesday Collins Senate bid sets off game of musical chairs for GOP Global health is the last bastion of bipartisan foreign policy MORE (Ala.) and Robert AderholtRobert Brown AderholtLobbying world The Hill's Coronavirus Report: WHO vs. Trump; Bernie's out Bottom line MORE (Ala.), have legislation ready that could be attached to the funding bill that would block the Obama administration from implementing Obama’s executive orders.

The GOP-led Appropriations panel contends that Congress would still need to pass an authorization that would prevent the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from collecting user fees in order to block its source of funding.

The White House, however, has said Obama wouldn’t sign any legislation that would undermine his executive actions.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday evening told CNN he’s been spending a lot of time on Capitol Hill this week to convince lawmakers to fund his department. 

Johnson said he spoke to Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, about the funding situation Wednesday. 

“He shares with me the concern that the budget of the Department of Homeland Security should not be a political football, and that there are things that we must fund in the name of homeland security for the protection of the American people,” Johnson said.

Asked if the administration and Republicans could work out a deal, Johnson said, “I believe that we will work this out. But I do not want to see the budget of Homeland Security used as a political football.”