The saga continues
Which means Congress gets to have this same fight all over again next week. Joy.
The Senate passed a clean funding bill late yesterday afternoon, placing efforts to combat President Obama’s executive overreach in a separate piece of legislation.
Last night it looked as though a DHS shutdown was imminent. Democratic lawmakers in the House were actively whipping votes against the three week stopgap appropriations bill, resulting in the bill’s failure—even though the White House indicated President Obama would’ve signed the bill to prevent an agency shutdown.
The Washington Post reported (emphasis added):
The House passed a measure earlier Friday afternoon to go to conference with the Senate to hash out the differences between their long-term bills. No Democrats voted for it. Senate Democrats oppose a conference.
Senate Democratic aides acknowledged that the bill would probably have passed their chamber if it had cleared the House.
Just two hours before the shutdown deadline, Democratic hold outs caved and agreed to pass a temporary funding bill that will only fund the agency for one week.
According to USA Today:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., rallied Democrats to support the one-week extension before funding expired. She said that voting for the seven-day measure would put Democrats on a path toward possible passage next week of a $40 billion spending bill that would fund the agency through the end of September.
While a DHS shutdown was messily, but successfully, avoided, there’s no indication the funding debate will inch closer to resolution by week’s end.
At the crux of the DHS funding debate is President Obama’s immigration overreach. Texas and 25 other states sued the federal government arguing that by acting through Executive Order, President Obama had travelled beyond the boundaries of the Executive Branch and stepped into Congressional territory. A judge issued a temporary injunction, preventing the president’s executive action from implementation. Democrats responded by filing an emergency motion to stay the temporary injunction. The states have until March 3 to respond.
Republicans like Senator Sessions have said, “Congress cannot fund the very action which dissolves its own powers.” Other Republicans argue that given the temporary injunction, Congress should pass longer term funding for DHS since the executive overreach issue has been legally halted by the fifth circuit.
Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats have decided that Obama’s executive immigration overreach is the hill to die on and will continue to obstruct any effort to provide long term funding that also addresses the President’s executive action.
And the Groundhog Day-esque funding nightmare begins anew.
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