Senate Dems seek to strip provisions from homeland bill

The Senate is on track to depart Washington Wednesday after wrapping up work on a number of remaining priority bills-but the recess may not be the end of the lame-duck session.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., believes Democrats are closing in on the votes needed to approve an amendment that would strip seven controversial provisions from the House version of the homeland security bill.

Daschle said he thinks all Senate Democrats will vote for the amendment he has proposed with Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joseph Lieberman, D-Ct. In addition, several Republicans such as Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine have hinted that they may vote for the amendment. "We are very hopeful," said a Daschle spokeswoman. But the office of Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga., Monday announced he will vote with Republicans against the amendment.

Adopting the amendment would create competing House and Senate bills, requiring the House to either come back into session to accept the Senate changes-or create a House-Senate conference committee to work out the difference. House Republicans said they would opt for a conference committee, which would likely begin in December and could stretch until Christmas, according to a spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.

"If Senate Democrats continue to play games in the Senate we are prepared to come back," said a spokesman for House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Texas, the incoming majority leader.

A spokesman for retiring House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, added that the House would not accept the Democrats' amendment. "The changes that they are talking about aren't acceptable and would force a conference," the Armey spokesman said.

The House passed the legislation last Wednesday by a 299- 121 vote and Armey's spokesman said Senate Democratic leaders were searching for complaints about the bill. "The bill is a product of compromise between the House and the Senate," he said. "We passed it by a veto-proof majority."

After voting on the Democrats' amendment Tuesday morning, the Senate will move to a handful of votes to approve the House- passed bill.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.