WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats have blocked a Republican move to open formal negotiations with the House on legislation combining funding for the Homeland Security Department with restrictions on President Barack Obama's immigration policy.
A test vote on the issue was 47-43, far short of the 60 needed to begin House-Senate talks on the subject.
The day's events leave Republicans with dwindling options as they try to use the funding bill as leverage to roll back Obama's directives easing the threat of deportation of immigrants.
Democrats and the White House are hoping Republicans eventually will give in and approve the Homeland Security money with no strings attached.
Without an infusion of funds, the agency faces a partial shutdown at midnight Friday.