By Jordain Carney
May 18, 2016
Senate Democrats blocked a push Wednesday by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to tie a controversial fight over immigration to a broader appropriations bill currently before the Senate.
Toomey tried to bring up his amendment to cut off some block grant funds for "sanctuary cities" — jurisdictions that don't comply with federal immigration law.
"It's really time to stop with this politically correct nonsense and being so worried that we can't offend anyone that we are going to risk the safety of our communities," said Toomey, who faces a tough reelection bid.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), who has been managing the spending bill for Democrats, objected, saying that cutting off the grants was "not the appropriate response to these very serious problems."
But Toomey fired back that Democrats are "afraid to go on record, afraid to let their constituents know whether they support sanctuary cities or not."
Senate Democrats blocked sanctuary cities legislation last year on a procedural hurdle, and the White House has pledged to veto any proposal that reaches President Obama's desk.
The immigration fight has spilled over into Toomey's reelection bid. He and Katie McGinty, his Democratic challenger, battled earlier this week over Philadelphia's sanctuary city policy, which limits cooperation with federal immigration officials.
His campaign blasted McGinty and Democrats after his failed action on the Senate floor.
"The difference is clear: Pat Toomey will continue the fight against dangerous sanctuary cities while Katie McGinty supports them," Ted Kwong, his campaign spokesman, said in a statement. "McGinty should understand that this is an issue even the Obama administration says is about public safety first, and it's not just 'buzzwords' like she says."
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