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The consequence of a congressional stalemate is clearly visible in the nearly 75,000 metric tons of spent radioactive fuel piling up in pools of water and steel casks that rest in the shadows of the nation’s nuclear power plants.
Lawmakers managed Friday to avert a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security by clearing a one-week stopgap funding measure.
The move forestalls a funding lapse DHS, whose budget authority was set to expire at midnight.
With House Republicans in full disarray after failing to pass a three-week stopgap, the Senate moved a more modest one-week measure, bailing out House leaders who were unable to deliver the votes needed to advance their plan.
The House emphatically passed the stopgap, which would extend the DHS' budget authority through March 6, 357-60, just before 10 p.m., on Friday evening sending the patch to the president's desk.
“I think the feeling of most people is it’s a fight that we should have not fought. As a governing party, we’ve got to fund DHS and say to the House, ‘Here’s a straw so you can suck it up.'”
Senate GOP leaders announced a dual-track plan that would decouple fiscal 2015 Homeland Security funding from immigration, but it is unclear whether conservatives in the chamber, House Republicans and Senate Democrats will go along with the strategy.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he is prepared to move a “clean” DHS funding bill — without any extraneous immigration language — as soon as Democrats are willing to agree to a vote. He added that the measure would include funding through fiscal 2015, which ends Sept. 30.
The Senate would then separately move on the bill he introduced Monday evening that would block spending on implementation of the president’s November 2014 immigration actions but leave untouched other orders from 2011 and 2012 impacting so-called dreamers and other immigrants.
"I do think we have a responsibility to act,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
When Republican leaders seized control of the Senate, they quickly targeted must-pass appropriations bills — not shutdown showdowns — as their best tool for reining in the Obama White House.
Democrats banded together Tuesday to block the Senate from considering a Homeland Security spending bill, leaving GOP leaders scrambling to find another path forward to challenge the president over immigration.
House Republican leaders are finalizing a plan that would authorize the chamber to take legal actions against President Barack Obama over his executive actions on immigration.
Kicking off his second tour as Senate Appropriations chairman, Thad Cochran says one of his top priorities is to ensure spending bills are open to amendments on the floor. Ever the institutionalist, the seven-term Mississippi Republican puts a premium on so-called regular order: moving each of the 12 annual spending bills through committee and on the floor, with unlimited debate and input from all senators before the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year. But restoring more orderly consideration of appropriations bills will be a tall order after years of Senate dysfunction, particularly given tight fiscal 2016 spending caps.
House Republicans are casting around for some kind of spending compromise that would avoid a government shutdown, while still addressing the White House’s expected executive actions on immigration.
White House emergency spending requests are taking a back seat to a debate about whether to use a wrap-up fiscal 2015 spending package to block executive actions on immigration.
House GOP leaders are taking a wait-and-see approach as their conference has begun splitting into factions over how to fund the federal government and whether to bring immigration into the mix.
Away from the din of the campaign, House and Senate appropriations staffers are quietly laying the groundwork for an ambitious wrap-up spending package in the lame duck.
Democrats and the Obama administration will continue to push for more border funding when Congress returns from recess, but a short legislative calendar and a growing rift between the parties on immigration may leave the upcoming continuing resolution as perhaps their only shot for securing additional dollars before the elections.
House Republican leaders are aiming to move a “clean” stopgap spending bill next week with as little drama as possible.
Days after Congress skipped out of Washington for recess last month, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced plans to shift some $400 million in funding from other agency programs to manage the Southwest border crisis.
Updated 12:44 p.m. | House Republicans emerged from a closed-door meeting Friday morning with a revised plan to address the child migrant border crisis — one leaders hope to pass later today.
As House GOP leaders scrambled to whip votes on a border supplemental bill Thursday, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the closing hours before the August recess a "mess" on the House floor.
"The Republicans do not have time to raise the minimum wage, but they have time to sue the president of the United States. They do not have money to feed the children, help the American people, but they want a blank check to sue the president," Pelosi said at her Thursday news conference. "They've lost moral standing in what's happening on the border, and they have no standing in suing the president."
Earlier, chaos reigned as the House GOP leaders’ carefully crafted gambit to win conservative votes fell apart before calling a 3 p.m. meeting to discuss emergency funding to address the child migrant crisis.
Updated 4:52 p.m. | House GOP leaders ditched their plans to vote on a border supplemental Thursday after failing to secure the votes to pass it — but plan to try again Friday before jetting out of town for the August recess.
At 40 years of age, the federal Budget Act bears the scars of fiscal battles dating from the Nixon administration, but its influence over legislation and spending has grown and deepened in ways that its authors couldn’t have imagined.
House leaders may consider moving as early as next week a continuing resolution to fund the federal government through the first months of fiscal 2015, according to two House Republican aides and one Democratic aide.
The Obama administration’s emergency supplemental appropriations request is further complicating efforts to move fiscal 2015 spending bills, soaking up time and energy during a critical work period with an already long to-do list.
With the Senate’s regular appropriations work all but dead and an unexpected supplemental spending request for child migrants consuming time and energy on Capitol Hill, a government-wide continuing resolution now appears to be a near certainty for the fall.
Updated 2:19 p.m. | The House GOP working group tasked with making policy recommendations on how to manage the influx of unaccompanied child migrants on the Southwest border will hand off its formal report to Republican leaders on Thursday, members confirmed.
The specially appointed House GOP border surge working group is poised to submit its formal policy recommendations to party leaders, while two of its members appear to be pursuing alternate tracks.
The House wrapped up Wednesday, one day closer to the August recess and still with no clear indication of when Republicans will unveil their response to President Barack Obama’s emergency funding request for $3.7 billion for the Texas border crisis.