In a 242 to 180 vote, the House Wednesday passed the Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 240) with controversial amendments that could sabotage the funding bill in the Senate.
Both Democrats and some senior Republicans had stated they would not vote for the bill if the amendments were attached.
Nevertheless, the package passed despite bipartisan opposition to amendments to defund the President’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and other executive orders related to immigration some of the more ultra-right wing members of the House wanted attached to the bill, as well as warnings it will stall in the Senate, where it faces stiff opposition and isn’t likely to get the 60 votes needed. And even if it were somehow passed by the Senate, President Obama has indicated he’d veto it.
DHS is currently funded through February 27 at the Fiscal Year 2014 spend rate of $39.270 billion under the 1,600-plus page Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act (HR 83) passed in December. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson scolded Congress for not fully funding the department.
The FY 2015 funding level is set at $39.7 billion and would fund DHS for the remainder of the current fiscal year. The $39.7 billion in discretionary funding for the department is an increase of $400 million compared to the FY 2014 enacted level. The bill prioritizes operational, counterterrorism and threat-targeting activities and essential tactical equipment, “and saves taxpayer dollars by reducing overhead costs and cutting funds for lower-priority programs.”
But, the "Poison Pill" amendments attached to the funding bill don’t bode well for the DHS funding package.
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