On Friday night President Obama signed a House approved 7 day funding extension for the Department of Homeland Security after political gridlock over the passage of the bill rekindled political tensions on Capitol Hill and turned the funding issue into a rally cry for conservative House Republicans hoping to oppose President Obama’s executive orders on immigration.
The House voted to approve the one week bill by a vote of 357-60 that funds the Department of Homeland Security only until Friday March 6th.
The bill approves security funding for U.S. airports, borders, and coastal waters.
“Your vote tonight will assure that we will vote for full funding next week” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote t0 her House Democrat members on Friday.
Many House Republicans have refused to approve a bill containing a longer funding extension because it permits the passage of President Obama’s executive orders on immigration that lifts the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Earlier on Friday, House Republicans rejected a bill that would have kept the Department of Homeland Security open for 3 weeks and the Senate approved a “clean” security funding bill of $39.7 billion that contains no riders and places no restrictions on President Obama’s executive action with immigration.
The Senate bill faces resistance in the Republican majority House.
Some Senate Republicans are becoming increasingly frustrated with the efforts made by House Republicans to oppose a one year “clean” funding bill.
Senator Peter King (R-New York) urged House Republicans last week to vote for a one year bill at a critical time when the domestic terror threat is rising to higher levels and other looming political issues on the budget, trade legislation, and tax reform are taking priority.
“We have a wing within our party who is obsessed with the president’s executive order or executive action on immigration. I oppose that order too, that action by the president, as far as amnesty. But the bottom line is, we have to keep this in perspective. It is much more important for us to keep Americans alive” King said last week on MSNBC.
King later admitted, “I’ve had it with this self-righteous, delusional wing of the party.”
Republican Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), who opposes President Obama’s executive action on immigration, released a statement on his vote to fund the Department of Homeland Security for one year.
In McCain’s statement, he makes the case that U.S. lawmakers have the responsibility to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security even despite his own disapproval of President Obama’s executive order.
“Immigration is an issue that must be debated and decided by the representatives of the people, not by executive fiat. I am encouraged by the recent federal district court order in Texas finding that President Obama exceeded his authority under the law with his latest executive action.”
“At the same time, for the safety and security of the American people, and at a time of growing terrorist threats here at home and abroad, I believe we have a responsibility to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security” McCain wrote.