Byline: Matthew Boyle
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) is lead author of a letter signed by more than 40 of his fellow House Republicans calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the House-passed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill that blocks funding for President Obama’s executive amnesty to the Senate floor as soon as possible.
After thanking McConnell for working to pass the Keystone XL pipeline, the Republicans who signed the Duncan letter press him to bring the House-passed bill to the Senate floor immediately after Keystone is done.
“As you know, appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security expire after February 27, 2015,” Duncan and his cosigners write. “The House of Representatives has passed responsible legislation (H.R. 240) that funds the Department for the remainder of fiscal year 2015 and defends the separation of powers by stopping President Obama’s unconstitutional executive actions.”
They specifically call on McConnell to fight to get that bill passed through the Senate, even though Democrats currently say they will attempt to block it.
“We write to urge you to bring H.R. 240 to the floor as soon as the Senate completes consideration of Keystone XL,” Duncan and his colleagues write. “We believe that Senate Republicans must honor the promise they made to the American people last year to stand firm against the President’s lawless actions and preserve Congress’ constitutional role as a lawmaking body. We believe that bringing H.R. 240 to the floor is the first step in accomplishing this goal.”
To get the House-passed bill to the floor, McConnell would need to convince at least six Democrats—and hold together his entire GOP conference—to vote for cloture on the bill. At this time, McConnell has said he plans on “trying” to pass the bill.
Signers of the Duncan letter include: Reps. Raul Labrador (R-ID), Steve King (R-IA), Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Dave Brat (R-VA), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Bill Flores (R-TX), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Ted Poe (R-TX), Sam Johnson (R-TX), Brian Babin (R-TX), Randy Weber (R-TX), John Ratcliffe (R-TX), Pete Olson (R-TX), Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), John Fleming (R-LA), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Bill Posey (R-FL), David Jolly (R-FL), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Doug Collins (R-GA), Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Mark Walker (R-NC), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Jody Hice (R-GA), Phil Roe (R-TN), Keith Rothfus (R-PA), Reid Ribble (R-WI), Tim Walberg (R-MI), French Hill (R-AR), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Todd Rokita (R-IN), Lou Barletta (R-PA), Bruce Westerman (R-AR), and Paul Cook (R-CA).
Meanwhile in the House, Republican leadership has delayed voting on a border bill from Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX). Several Republican leaders, including Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA), Senate Immigration Subcommittee chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), say that bill wouldn’t secure the border.
Aides on Capitol Hill tell Breitbart News that three amendments, if added together to the McCaul bill in the Rules Committee process, could fix the bill. Two of the amendments are from Brat and the other is from Rep. Steve King (R-IA).
One Brat amendment would declare the border isn’t secure until the president’s 2014 executive amnesty, the so-called Morton Memos of non-enforcement, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program of 2012 were all ended.
The second Brat amendment would create a mechanism to allow the Border Patrol to end Obama’s catch-and-release policies, and deport illegal aliens immediately upon capture rather than sending them to ICE processing facilities, at which point they’re likely to be kept in the United States.
The King amendment would require that all 700 miles of double-layer border fencing required under the Secure Fence Act of 2006 be built, instead of just the 48 miles of double-layer fencing in the bill right now.
Aides to House Rules Committee chairman Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) have not responded to Breitbart News’ requests for comment on whether he would support the fixes to the bill to ensure that it actually secures the border and stops illegal immigration. The process is currently delayed until Sessions decides to bring it back up.