Senate Democrats have blocked action on legislation that provides funding for the Department of Homeland Security and rolls back President Obama’s steps to shelter from deportation millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States.
The vote Tuesday on beginning formal debate on the bill was 51-48, nine short of the 60 required.
Democrats say they are happy to provide funds for the department as well as debate immigration, but want the two issues to be dealt with separately.
Republicans said that in reality, Democrats were blocking needed funding in a time of terrorism.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated would order a second vote in the days ahead. The agency will lose some funding on Feb. 27 if Congress doesn’t act.