WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats have blocked action on legislation that provides funding for the Department of Homeland Security and rolls back President Barack Obama's steps to shelter millions of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. from deportation.
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.
The Senate's top Republican, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, indicated would order a second vote in the days ahead. The agency will lose some of its funding on Feb. 27 if Congress doesn't act by then.