GOP Senator Wants to Wave the White Flag on DHS Funding

Kirk wants no part of a government shutdown over immigration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Kirk wants no part of a government shutdown over immigration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted February 11, 2015 at 6:17pm

Facing a potentially tough re-election battle, Illinois Republican Mark S. Kirk has had enough of the standoff over funding the Department of Homeland Security and wants the Senate to pass a clean bill.  

“Yeah, I think in the end,” Kirk said when asked if Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should have the Senate pass a DHS spending bill without language designed to block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. “I generally agree with the Democratic position here,” Kirk said. “I think we should have never fought this battle on DHS funding.”  

His comments come after Senate Democrats filibustered a House-passed bill to fund the agency three times over objections to the provisions stopping the White House immigration actions.  

Now House and Senate GOP leaders are at an impasse over how to fund the agency with House bill unable to clear the Senate. Congress will have to act by the end of the month or the DHS would face a partial shutdown.  

Kirk, who is up for re-election in 2016, appears to be stuck in the middle. He may face an uphill battle to victory given that Illinois voted for President Barack Obama with 25- and 17-point margins in 2008 and 2012, respectively.