GOP senator to House: Send us new DHS funding bill

A GOP senator on Thursday said the House should pass another bill funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that has a better chance of passing the Senate.

“We are unable to get on this bill to amend it. And a result of that, the House is going to have to send us another bill that we can get on,” Sen. Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischSenators voice support for Iran protesters but stop short of taking action Bipartisan senators urge national security adviser to appoint 5G coordinator McConnell urges Trump to voice support for Hong Kong protesters MORE (R-Idaho) said after a lunch with the Senate GOP conference.

Before the lunch, Senate Democrats managed to filibuster the House-passed DHS spending bill for the third day in a row because of its riders that would kill President Obama’s immigration policies.

Democrats “are locked up against it,” Risch acknowledged, adding, “There’s nothing we can do.”


Risch emphasized that it’s now the responsibility of GOP leadership in the House to send over a different bill.

“The House is going to have to. We can’t start a bill here ourselves,” he said, because the Constitution says appropriations bills must start in the House.

A request for comment from Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFormer Speaker Boehner's official portrait unveiled Key Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock From learning on his feet to policy director MORE (R-Ohio) was not immediately returned.

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTensions rise in Senate's legislative 'graveyard' 2020 Republicans accuse Schumer of snubbing legislation Key Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock MORE (R-Maine), who offered on Wednesday what she considers a compromise, said there’s no plan B yet.   

“I’m not sure what the path forward is,” she said.

Collins’s amendment would protect "Dreamers" who were brought to the United States illegally as children and whose deportations have been deferred as a result of a 2012 program Obama created. Her amendment, however, would reverse Obama’s 2014 actions and the administration has made it clear Obama would veto any proposal that undermines these plans. 

Asked if she’s concerned about there being no clear endgame, Collins said she’s “very worried.”

Congress must pass a new DHS spending bill by Feb. 27. Each chamber has just over a week of work left because of a week-long recess for President’s Day.