Republicans struggle to avoid Homeland Security shutdown

Willie Grace | 2/12/2015, 6:12 p.m. | Updated on 2/12/2015, 6:12 p.m.
It's "stuck," according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has failed on three attempts to attract enough Senate Democrats ...
Sign and gate at the exterior of the US Department of Homeland Security.

Sen. Jeff Flake told reporters using a spending bill "to poke a finger in the President's eye" isn't a good move.

Now, House conservatives are pressing Senate Republicans to change the debate rules, essentially eliminating the requirement that 60 votes are needed to break a Democratic filibuster.

But Cruz didn't think that was a good idea, telling reporters, "I think the Senate rule wisely protects the minority."

The House and Senate will head home next week for a one-week break.

"Coming back from recess, hopefully people are well-grounded about the basics. I think the American people are pretty on edge about international security," said Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois. "My hope is when you get them away from the partisan fires of D.C. they will want to pass a clean DHS bill."

GOP Rep. Mike Simpson predicted some deal would emerge at the last minute.

"We won't shut the government down, that would be really really stupid," he told CNN.

While he conceded no one knew how the final days of this debate would play out, he said one thing was all but guaranteed -- the fight over the DHS bill will go right up until the deadline on Feb. 28th.

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