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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins voted today in favor of proceeding to an open and fair debate on the bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security. Following the vote, Senator Collins released this statement:

“It is my goal to ensure first and foremost that the Department of Homeland Security is fully funded to perform its dangerous and vital mission to protect our people.

“We must also put the Senate on record in strong opposition to the President’s extraordinarily broad immigration executive order issued last November as a huge abuse of his executive authority that undermines the separation of powers doctrine in our Constitution. We should not, however, undo the 2012 deferred action program that allowed “DREAMERS” – young children brought to the United States by their parents years ago – to receive legal status as long as they meet certain requirements.

“The House bill includes a controversial amendment that would invalidate the 2012 program retroactively. I don’t believe this approach represents the views of most Americans, and I would welcome the opportunity to debate and amend the bill to make it fairer to these young people.

“I encourage my Democratic colleagues to reconsider their efforts to block outright the bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security, rather than allowing it to be debated and amended.”

The motion to proceed to the DHS appropriations bill required 60 votes. The vote was 51 to 48 with a motion to reconsider the vote pending.