After a day of drama on Friday, Congress finally approved a stopgap bill to ensure that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) remains fully funded and avoids a partial shutdown; however, a long-term solution to the crisis has still to be found, as funding has only been extended for one week.
The legislation was signed into law by President Obama late on Friday night after a bill was finally approved by the House of Representatives. Efforts to pass a funding bill for a little longer – three weeks – collapsed on the House floor during the afternoon, resulting in bad blood within the Republican Party. Almost 200 Republicans supported the three-week bill and they are reportedly furious at those who opposed it.
“There are terrorist attacks all over the world and we’re talking about closing down Homeland Security,” fumed New York Representative Peter King, a former Homeland Security Committee chairman. “This is like living in a world of crazy people.” The conflict has further highlighted the deep division in the debate around not only funding for the Department of Homeland Security but also the controversial executive action on immigration reform taken by President Obama.
Reversing deferred action via attachments to the DHS funding bill organized by Republicans has been the cause of the funding crisis and neither side seems willing to back down, placing House of Representatives speaker John Boehner in a seemingly impossible position.