Final approval has been given by the U.S House of Representatives to provide a spending stopgap for the Department of Homeland Security.
Only hours before the spending ran out, the House approved the week long spending stop gap which led to the avoidance of a partial shut down of the department of Homeland Security which would lead to thousands of employees being left up in the air.
According to Reuters, after a chaotic day that featured an embarrassing rebuke to Republican House Speaker John Boehner from angry conservatives, the House voted 357-60 to keep the lights on at the Department of Homeland Security for at least one more week.
The Senate had already passed the one-week extension a few hours earlier. President Barack Obama was expected to quickly sign it.
Thanks to the chaos of the house many have questioned the ability of the speaker to be able to control the situation.
According to Reuters, the House rejected a three-week funding extension for the agency when conservatives rebelled because the bill did not block Obama’s executive orders on immigration. On a second try late in the evening, House Democrats provided the votes to pass a one-week extension.
While the Republicans may be fighting against the spending bill, mainly thanks to the controversial immigration plans that President Obama is keen to push through while in office, the Democrats do believe that they will be able to secure the funding needed to keep the department going.
The amount needed to keep the department fully functioning is a massive nearly $40 billion for a fiscal year.
According to Reuters, in urging her fellow House Democrats to support the one-week extension, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to members: “Your vote tonight will assure that we will vote for full funding next week.”
The extension will give both chambers of Congress more time to work out their differences on funding for the super-agency that spearheads domestic counterterrorism efforts.
The entire problem of the bill centres around the order by Obama to allow undocumented illegal immigrants to potentially stay in the country legally. Many Democrats are in favour of the bill but Republicans in general and especially the more conservative hard liners ae adamant that they will not let the bill progress forward.