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 McConnellOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs Trump steps up GOP charm offensive as impeachment looms Congressional authority in a time of Trump executive overreach 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 RobyOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Pelosi: GOP retirements indicate they'll be in the minority, with Democrat in the White House MORE (Ala.) and Robert AderholtRobert Brown AderholtLobbying World House advances B agriculture bill Dems advance bill defying Trump State Department cuts 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.”