“Washington, D.C. – With just hours to go before a midnight deadline, Congress passed a one-week extension to fund the Department of Homeland Security and prevent sending 30,000 government employees home on furlough. The vote ended a tumultuous day in the House as Republican Speaker John Boehner and his aides lost control of their right flank, failing to deliver a three-week funding measure for the department and relying instead on Democrats to pass the one-week measure to avoid a DHS shutdown.
“Boehner had hoped the three-week extension would buy his conference time to figure out how to protest immigration measures put forward by President Obama last year, without shutting down DHS. But his fellow Republicans turned on the bill and it failed by a handful of votes late in the afternoon. The Senate, led by newly elected Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, then calmly passed a one-week extension of funding for the department and set that bill back across the Capitol to the House.
“Several days before the deadline for DHS funding was meant to expire, the Department Secretary Jeh Johnson used every platform available to make the plea for funding. Speaking at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, the secretary cautioned that a failure to pass an appropriations bill to fund the agency could have dramatic consequences.
““As long as we’re on a [continuing resolution], we’re restrained to last year’s spending levels, and we’re unable to engage in new starts, new initiatives for spending,” Johnson said. He added that a failure to fund the department could have significant impacts on border security, implementing key recommendations from an independent review of the Secret Service, and staffing up security for presidential campaigns during the upcoming 2016 cycle.
“Apparently, in a tense debate that broke out during a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans, a frustrated Sen. Sessions argued that his party should be prepared for an all-out battle with Democrats to ratchet up public pressure and force President Barack Obama to drop his immigration policies.
Interestingly, Sen. Jeff Sessions exclusively told Newslo that he “had planned to vote for DHS shutdown, but was suddenly ‘motivated’ to change his mind.”
“I’ll tell you, I was really keen on giving McConnell a piece of my mind during that meeting; I might have said certain things that were taken out of context, but I felt no guilt about potentially shutting down the Department of Homeland Security. However, I had gotten home that night and my wife urged me to do what I can to breathe life into the dying DHS. She said that she hadn’t seen such an interesting show on TV for a long time. And you know, a real man does everything for his wife; especially when he’s looking to get lucky” Sen. Sessions concluded.