The Senate failed to advance Republican-backed legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security for a fourth time on Monday, giving Congress just four days to reach an agreement on how to fund the agency before appropriations lapse.
In a 47 to 46 vote, Democrats blocked GOP efforts to advance a bill that would defund President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration while ensuring Homeland Security remains paid for.
The measure needed 60 votes to advance.
Democrats are demanding legislation that does not include any language on immigration, an issue they contend is unrelated to funding Homeland Security.
"Why are we doing this? Is it to please the House Republicans who can't agree on anything?" Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said before the vote. "It's important that we fully fund this agency and do it now."
But House Republicans have so far been unrelenting and contend that Democrats will be responsible if DHS runs out of funding.
If Congress fails to act by midnight on Friday, 30,000 Homeland Security employees will be furloughed. About 200,000 employees will need to continue to work without pay until the funding dispute is resolved.
This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.