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Congress Passes One-Week DHS Funding Bill, Ending Shutdown Drama (for Now)

Congress Passes One-Week DHS Funding Bill, Ending Shutdown Drama (for Now)

"Progress has been made..."

The House and Senate late Friday each passed a one-week funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security, avoiding a partial DHS shutdown that would have happened at the end of the day.

The Senate vote came about three hours after the House failed to pass a three-week extension, which sent Republicans scrambling about what steps to take next. Soon after, the House followed suit, and the bill was on its way to the White House where President Barack Obama was expected to sign it into law.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) passed a one-week DHS funding bill late Friday, and the House was expected to follow shortly, avoiding a possible DHS shutdown. Image: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Earlier in the day, dozens of House conservatives balked at a bill to fund DHS that didn't defund President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration. And with most Democrats opposing anything other than a full-year funding bill, the House bill failed late Friday afternoon.

It wasn't immediately clear whether House Republicans could even agree to a one-week bill, but the pressure of a possible DHS shutdown seemed to be enough to allow a short, one-week extension.

After being out for several hours, the Senate reconvened shortly after 8 p.m., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) quickly passed the one-week extension by unanimous consent, without having to hold a roll call vote.

Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who had been opposed to anything other than a full-year funding bill, said he was satisfied that the short extension would help Congress solve the problem next week. Reid's consent followed conversations that he and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had with President Barack Obama, who has said he wants to see DHS funded, even if just for a short time.

"Progress has been made all during the day," Reid said before the Senate passed the continuing resolution, or CR. "I'm confident the House will pass a seven-day CR tonight, and there will be, within seven days, full funding for the Department of Homeland Security."

Soon afterwards, the House held a quick vote that required a two-thirds vote for passage, and it passed easily 357-60. The ability to suddenly pass a one-week bill, after the House had earlier failed to pass a three-week bill, happened only because nearly every Democrat flipped its position, a change that was likely heavily influenced by the talks with the White House — only five Democrats voted "no" on the final bill.

The vote saves DHS, but it will require Congress to do it all over again next week. It wasn't immediately clear how Congress would get around GOP demands for language that blocks Obama's immigration move, or how any bill that attacks immigration in any way would avoid a White House veto.

— This story was updated at 9:58 p.m. to reflect the House vote.

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