Democrats Expect ‘Clean’ DHS Bill — One Way or Another

Hoyer, right, outlined expectations for the DHS funding bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Hoyer, right, outlined expectations for the DHS funding bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted March 2, 2015 at 12:13pm

With funding for the Department of Homeland Security set to run out Saturday, it should be no surprise that House Democrats expect a vote on a bill to further fund the agency. It’s just unclear what form that vote will take.  

Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer told reporters Monday morning he expects a vote on a “clean” bill — one devoid of provisions blocking President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration — at some point this week.  

As Hoyer noted, once the Senate votes down a motion to go to conference — expected to happen Monday night — the stage of “disagreement” between the House and Senate will be such that any member could make a privileged motion to get a vote on the Senate-passed bill. (Read this for a wonky explainer on how that works.)  

Hoyer indicated Democrats were aware of the tactic, which would allow the House to concur in the Senate amendment to the House bill, but he also said he expected “a substantive vote, not a procedural vote” on a clean bill that would fund DHS through Sept. 30.  

But the Maryland Democrat also seemed to be leaving his options open to use the procedural gimmick.  

“My expectation is that the Senate is going to reject going to conference, and that we will have an opportunity to have a vote,” he said.  

“I’m not going to get into how it will come to a vote,” Hoyer said, adding he “read in one of the Hill periodicals” — that would be Roll Call — “that that’s obviously an option.”  

Hoyer also noted the letter from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Friday night that told her Democratic colleagues , “Your vote tonight will assure that we will vote for full funding next week.”  

“Why do you think the Democrats voted for a one-week when we almost in a united fashion voted against the three week?” Hoyer said. “Try to analyze that.”  

Speaker John A. Boehner has continued insisting there is no arrangement and his office refers back to “regular order” to resolve the DHS differences.