Homeland Security shutdown averted as House backs one-week funding deal

Speaker of the House John Boehner has been trying to prevent the Department of Homeland Security from running out of money,Guardian – by Dan Roberts

The House of Representatives finally agreed to pay for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Friday night, just two hours before a lapse in funding that would have forced thousands of key government workers to go without pay.

But an increasingly bitter divide among Republicans forced congressional leaders to settle for just a one-week extension of the existing budget arrangement, buying them only a few short days next week to reach a longer term deal.  

The dispute, which began over Barack Obama’s decision to circumvent a gridlocked Congress and introduce immigration reforms by presidential order, has reopened deep divisions among House Republicans, many of whom believe more should be done to block what they see as executive overreach.

Earlier in the evening more than 50 of them voted with Democrats against an attempt by the House Speaker, John Boehner, to pass a three-week extension of DHS funding, angry at what they saw as capitulation toward the White House.

The shock defeat was a huge embarrassment for Boehner, whose advisers had been expressing confidence in its passage just hours earlier and left Democrats holding out instead for the House to agree to the same one-year deal passed by the Senate.

Yet with the clock ticking toward another government shutdown that was likely to be blamed largely on Republicans, the White House upped the pressure by issuing emergency instructions (pdf) on what to do when the money ran out.

President Obama also telephoned the minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, to urge a deal, and leaders across Congress eventually agreed to an emergency seven-day measure through to midnight on 6 March.

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, began the final, if temporary, resolution to the crisis around 9pm, passing the seven-day continuing resolution by voice vote in the Senate.

This was then followed by another vote in the House of Representatives, this time supported by the leadership of both parties that passed 357-60, but left a bitter taste on both sides of the aisle.

“This is no way to govern the nation and the American people deserve better,” said Hal Rogers, the Republican chairman of the appropriations committee as he announced the vote.

“This has been a day of confusion both here in this House and for the men and women of the department of homeland security,” added Democrat Lucille Roybal-Allard.


5 thoughts on “Homeland Security shutdown averted as House backs one-week funding deal

    1. Damn! You beat me to it, #1. I was just going to say the same exact thing. It amazes me how they always find a way JUST in the nick of time. 😉

  1. Whew! They saved us for another week. If this country wasn’t in such sad shape I would be laughing my ass off right now. Could you imagine if the people who wrote the constitution and bill or rights were alive today to see the clowns we have in office now. They make a mockery of everything.

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