Just two hours before the Department of Homeland Security was set to run out of funding, the House delivered a bill to float the agency for one more week.
But last-minute maneuvering almost put a snag in that plan.
Shortly after learning that GOP leaders intended to bring the stopgap measure to the floor after Senate passage earlier in the evening, a band of conservatives huddled in the chamber to plot their next move.
Earlier in the day, 50 of them helped sink the House's proposed three-week continuing resolution because it did not include language blocking President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration.
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
At around 9:30 p.m., close to 20 members who hailed largely from the newly formed House Freedom Caucus appeared to be consulting the House rules on a laptop belonging to Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.
Republican votes were critical to passing this one-week patch, especially since leadership chose to expedite consideration of the measure by bringing it up under "suspension of the rules."
Typically reserved for noncontroversial measures, bringing a bill up under suspension requires a minimum of two-thirds of those present and voting to vote in the affirmative.
That meant leaders were relying on a lot of Republicans to vote "yes" — and a lot of Democrats, too. Members of the minority party earlier in the day held out all but 12 of their votes over the GOP's refusal to bring up the other bill passed by the Senate on Friday morning, to fund the DHS for the remainder of the fiscal year without conditions.
Luckily for Republicans, Democrats agreed to help out with the seven-day stopgap. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to her members asking them to support the latest effort, saying that it would ensure passage of the longer-term DHS funding bill in the next seven days.
"Your vote tonight will assure that we will vote for full funding next week," she wrote.
A senior House Democratic aide clarified to CQ Roll Call that Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, gave Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders his commitment to bringing up the six-month bill next week, once the Senate inevitably blocks the House's motion to form a conference committee to resolve differences between the two chambers.
Michael Steel, Boehner's spokesman, denied that such a conversation had taken place: "There was no such promise made," he said.
The one-week bill passed easily Friday night, 357-60.
House GOP Fails to Advance 3-Week DHS Funding Bill (Updated) (Video)
With Conservative Opposition, DHS Funding Vote Looks Tight
Pelosi: Democrats Won't Help GOP Pass 3-Week DHS Funding Bill (Video)
New Tea Party Caucus Chairman: DHS Fight Could Break the GOP
House GOP Faces Another Whip Test on DHS Punt
Boehner's Kiss for DHS Luck?
The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress
Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.