Issues surrounding the immigration bill being brought in by President Obama have left the department of Homeland Security threatened with closure, however a potential funding patch may prevent the shutdown – temporarily.
Today Republicans from the House of Representatives are planning to push forward with a temporary funding plan that would see the Homeland Security funding secured for another three weeks.
Some may see this as a chance to sort out the difficulties with the bill once and for all but for others this is merely stalling the inevitable which will lead to a partial shutdown of the Homeland Security agency.
According to a report by Reuters, as the clock ticked toward a midnight Friday deadline for funding the Department of Homeland Security, lawmakers said a stop-gap extension would buy time to try to work out differences between the Republican-controlled House and the Senate.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson sent a letter to congressional leaders in which he urged them to approve of a “clean,” full-year funding measure for the agency.
He explained that he believed that a temporary funding patch would only lead to more uncertainty for employees in the agency “and puts us back in the same position, on the brink of a shutdown just days from now,” he said in the letter.
There appears to be a mixture of opinions in the house regarding the situation, with some looking to find a solution as soon as possible and others keen to dig in the heels and prevent the immigration bill from going forward.
Once person who is eager not to give way to the bill in any shape or form is Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who has insisted, according to Reuters, on a full Homeland Security funding bill free of immigration reform restrictions that have caused weeks of delay, said he would refuse to allow such negotiations with the House.
“It won’t happen,” Reid told a news conference.
According to Reuters, it was also unclear if House Speaker John Boehner, facing disagreement among Republican factions, had the votes to win House passage of even a short-term extension. House Democratic leaders were urging their members to reject it, a party aide said.
Conservatives have demanded that Boehner stand firmly behind a House-passed $39.7 billion bill that would pay for Homeland Security operations, but that would also block funding for Democratic President Barack Obama’s recent executive orders lifting the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants.
Whatever the result, the main issue of immigration continues to be at the heart of the problem and until some form of agreement can be found on this, then there will be no real move forward anytime soon.