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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Biden not ruling out Senate voting to impeach Trump: 'It will depend on what their constituency says' Congress hunts for path out of spending stalemate 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 Ann MikulskiLobbying World Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Raskin embraces role as constitutional scholar 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 ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenOn The Money: US paid record .1B in tariffs in September | Dems ramp up oversight of 'opportunity zones' | Judge hints at letting House lawsuit over Trump tax returns proceed Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog slams agency chief after deputy fails to cooperate in probe | Justices wrestle with reach of Clean Water Act | Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows Overnight Defense: Trump, Erdogan confirm White House meeting | Public impeachment hearings set for next week | Top defense appropriator retiring 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.