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Mayors urge Senate to pass 'clean' DHS bill

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is urging Senate Republicans to pass a “clean” bill funding the Department of Homeland Security that’s free of riders intended to unravel President Obama’s immigration actions.

In a letter to the leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, the conference’s CEO, Tom Cochran, explained the DHS needs new funding that states and cities rely on. 

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If the DHS continues to operate on a continuing resolution (CR), which is based on 2014 funding levels, the agency “faces uncertainty and simply cannot be fully functioning,” the mayors' letter said. 

In Congress, the Senate GOP is holding votes to open debate on a DHS spending measure that would roll back Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and his immigration orders from last November. Democrats, however, continue to filibuster those moves. 

Lawmakers in the lame-duck session passed a short-term measure to fund the department. The agency will shut down if lawmakers can not pass a new spending bill by Feb. 27.

Under the continuing resolution, Cochran said the DHS can’t release any additional grant funding to states for non-disaster programs. 

The State Homeland Security Grant Program and the Urban Areas Security Initiative, for instance, provide resources to cities to prevent and prepare for terrorist attacks, he said. Other grants provide aid following disasters and help local fire departments.

The letter was addressed to Appropriations Chairman Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranEspy wins Mississippi Senate Democratic primary Bottom Line Mike Espy announces Mississippi Senate bid MORE (R-Miss.), ranking member 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 leaders of the Appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security, Sens. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Bottom line Bipartisan senators seek funding for pork producers forced to euthanize livestock MORE (R-N.D.) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenJustice indicts two members of ISIS 'Beatles' cell ISIS militants expected to be sent to US for prosecution: report New Hampshire poll finds Biden up 8 points over Trump MORE (D-N.H.). 

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate GOP eyes Oct. 26 for confirming Barrett to Supreme Court GOP noncommittal about vote on potential Trump-Pelosi coronavirus deal Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas MORE (R-Ky.) brought the House-passed DHS funding bill containing the immigration provisions to the floor, and Democrats voted to block debate on it for the third day in a row.