Danger of government shutdown over immigration averted

congressThe danger of the US government shutting down again receded on Tuesday after the House of Representatives voted in favor of a stopgap spending bill to get round the controversial debate over immigration reform, which had been threatening to see Congress embroiled in a second deadline standoff.

None of the 12 spending bills needed to fund basic government operations each year have been passed by Congress, which made it necessary to give approval to a stopgap spending bill, referred to on the Capitol as a ‘CR’ or ‘continuing resolution’.  This keeps the US government generally funded at current levels, albeit with a number of amendments intended to deal with immediate needs such as how to handle the Ebola crisis.

It seemed that immigration was going to be the primary issue in the debate on spending earlier in the summer, with the influx of undocumented immigrant minors reaching its peak and President Obama declaring that he intended to use his executive authority to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants already residing in the United States.  A number of Republicans had argued that no funding bill should be approved by Congress unless it put a stop to Obama’s policies, which they argued had caused the increase in undocumented minors crossing the US border.

The surge has now receded and Obama has delayed taking executive action until after the midterm elections in November; therefore, the House of Representatives voted to bring the stopgap bill to the floor sans immigration attachments on Tuesday.