At a press conference yesterday House and Senate Republicans called on Senate Democrats to end their filibuster of the spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security. Although Senate Democrats want to fund DHS through the end of the fiscal year, as the bill would do, they are blocking debate on the bill to protect the president’s executive amnesties.
Members of the Senate Steering Committee and the House Republican Study Committee said Senate Democrats will have an opportunity to amend the bill if they allow debate, Breitbart News reports. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah., said “The way to change what they don’t like in the bill is to bring it up to allow us to get on the bill so that they can amend it and this they have refused to do…There is therefore no reason, other than bold faced obstruction for the Senate Democrats to prevent us from getting on this bill. Look: American national security demands that we keep this department funded. American national security demands that we get on this bill. We need to do it and I call on my Senate Democratic colleagues to stop their obstruction right now and get on this bill.”
Rep. John Carter, R-Tex., said “The president dropped his November surprise after Election Day and I didn’t hear anybody anywhere in the country campaign in favor of executive amnesty before Election Day. He dropped it after Election Day and stepped all over the Constitution and that is the reason we have a challenge to Homeland Security.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., said “I would note that seven senate Democrats around election time told the voters they oppose President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty,” Cruz said. “I would suggest to each of you in the fourth estate another question that would be entirely appropriate to ask them, were you telling the truth or were you lying when you said you opposed the president’s unconstitutional executive amnesty. Because if you were telling the truth, why then are you filibustering DHS funding, why are you blocking consideration of legislation to do what you said you agreed with. They cannot have it both ways.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said “I believe we’ll prevail. I believe that the American people are not going to allow their Congress to say one thing during campaign season and do another in Congress…The House] is exactly right, the ball is in the Senate’s court,” he added. “And the Democratic leadership is going to have to answer for the blocking of the Homeland Security that they are undertaking right now.”
Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said his Party will only agree to pass the bill if Republicans strip out the executive amnesty defunding provisions. Also, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., accused Republicans threatening the national security by not passing a bill to the Democrats liking. He said he has “been trying to understand what is holding up funding for the Department of Homeland Security, ” The remarks did not sit well with Sen. Sessions.
“Have you ever heard of a filibuster?” Sessions asked Durbin. “What about the filibuster you’re leading to block the bill that funds Homeland Security? I mean, how much more obvious can the answer be to what’s holding up funding for the Department of Homeland Security?…You and your team of filibusterers. That’s what it is. There is no doubt about that. We need to get this straight.”
Sen. Sessions continued “The House has passed a bill. They have sent it to the Senate. More than a majority of the Senators have voted to pass the bill and fund the Department of Homeland Security, and you as the Democratic whip are leading the filibuster to block it from even coming up on the floor so amendments can be offered. That’s the answer to your question.”
Concerning Durbin’s remarks about national security, Sen. Sessions said the president’s executive amnesties, not Republican actions, would undermine security. Sen. Sessions noted remarks by Kenneth Palinkas, the president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, who warned that “instead of meeting our lawful function to protect the homeland and keep out those who pose a threat to U.S. security, public health or finances, our officers will be assigned to process amnesty for individuals residing illegally inside the nation’s borders. This compromises national security and public safety while undermining officer morale.”
Updated: Wed, Oct 11th 2017 @ 3:32pm EDT