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Senate Dems offer 'clean' bill to fund Homeland Security

Two top Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee unveiled a clean Homeland Security funding bill late Tuesday to put pressure on Senate Republicans to disregard a House version that reverses President Obama's immigration actions.

The bill was introduced by the full committee’s ranking member, Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiForeign policy congressional committees need to call more women experts Lobbying World Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE (D-Md.), and the ranking member of its Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenTrump makes rare campaign stops in New England in closing stretch GOP coronavirus bill blocked as deal remains elusive Justice indicts two members of ISIS 'Beatles' cell MORE (D-N.H.).

The two senators based their new bill on the compromise agreement the House and Senate reached in December “and kept it free of extraneous policy riders that would threaten vital homeland security operations,” they said. 

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“We have a good bill that both the House and Senate have already agreed to that properly supports our homeland security operations,” Shaheen said. “Now we should pass it.”  

Congress must pass a new bill funding the DHS by Feb. 27 or the department will shut down.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Trump blasts Obama speech for Biden as 'fake' after Obama hits Trump's tax payments White House hoping for COVID-19 relief deal 'within weeks': spokeswoman MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday told reporters that the upper chamber would consider the House-passed funding bill next week once they finish up votes on the Keystone XL pipeline.

Nearly two weeks ago, the House passed a DHS funding bill and attached amendments that would roll back Obama’s executive orders on immigration from 2011, 2012 and last November. 

On Tuesday, Mikulski, Shaheen, 43 other Senate Democrats and the two independents who caucus with Democrats called on McConnell to bring up a clean funding bill that excludes those amendments. 

“The House bill cannot pass the Senate,” they wrote in a letter.

Many senators, including Republicans, have said they doubt the House measure would get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

Based on the negotiated agreement from December, Shaheen and Mikulski said their bill “incorporates critical increases in funding and support for border security, cybersecurity, the Secret Service and other national security initiatives.”