The Senate will begin debate today on a a $ 1.1 trillion dollar short-term spending bill that the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed late on Thursday evening, just hours before the deadline, that funds the federal government and avoids a shutdown after President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner came together to rally support and move the bill forward despite facing some internal opposition from within both parties.
By a margin of 219-206 the new spending bill was approved in the House of Representatives.
The bill funds the federal government through September 30, 2015 and the Department of Homeland Security through February 27, 2015 by means of continuing resolution.
Some Republicans were angered that the spending bill did not automatically eliminate funding for the Department of Homeland Security which handles immigration after President Obama bypassed Congress last month and used executive action to get immigration reform started on Capitol Hill.
Republicans will control both houses on Capitol Hill after January 1st and have more political leverage to challenge the long term funding of President Obama’s executive action with immigration that impacts the fate of 4.7 million undocumented immigrants who may be eligible to remain living in the U.S. and receive work visas.
House Democrats led by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were unhappy that the new bill stops the passage of Wall Street reform with the Dodd-Frank bill that was set for implementation in 2015 and would have made restrictions on derivatives trading with banks.
Democrats were also disappointed that the bill increases the amount of money that wealthy donors are allowed to contribute to national party committees.
The new cap is set at $ 777,600 for the three party committees instead of the current cap at $ 97,200.
Pelosi previously criticized the policy rider in the bill that dramatically expands the amount wealthy donors can contribute in the future, claiming that it would “drown out the voices of the American people and expand the role of big money in our elections.”
Among House Democrats 57 voted in favor of the bill while 139 voted against it.
The bill could be voted on in the Senate as early as today.
President Obama is expected to sign the bill once it reaches his desk.