Pelosi and Reid conduct a news conference Thursday in the Capitol’s Senate studio to criticize Republican leaders on the hold up of the Department of Homeland Security funding bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Updated 12:39 p.m. | The Senate did its best to wrap up the current year’s funding debate, even as the House is opting for another punt.
Senate Democrats said they wouldn’t try to block the House’s punt, meaning a likely Groundhog Day version of the debate three weeks from now.
After weeks at loggerheads, the Senate moved quickly Friday morning to pass a bill funding the Department of Homeland Security for the balance of the fiscal year. The key vote was on invoking cloture to bat back any potential filibuster of the underlying bill — a 68-31 outcome well north of the 60 needed to clear the procedural hurdle. Democrats were united in seeking the “clean” funding bill but Republicans fractured, with most voting to filibuster the plan put forward by their Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to break the impasse.
Senate Republicans who face the voters next year in states won by President Barack Obama split on funding for the Department of Homeland Security.
Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania voted to advance the bill.
Rob Portman of Ohio, Marco Rubio of Florida and Charles E. Grassley of Iowa voted no.
The final vote on passage was also 68-31.