Legislative Update

House Passes DHS Spending Bill, Ending Weeks-Long Impasse and Avoiding Shut-Down

On Tuesday, the House passed the Senate’s “clean” version of the FY 2015 spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), ending weeks of debate and preventing a repeat of last week’s 11th hour agreement avoiding shut-down of the agency. The $40 billion measure does not include provisions to prevent implementation of the President’s executive actions on immigration that had been the subject of the controversy underlying the bill’s passage. Seventy-five Republicans joined all Democrats in supporting the measure by a vote of 257 to 167. Ultimately, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) capitulated to Democratic demands for the clean bill, citing the importance of DHS to protecting the homeland. Speaker Boehner added that the courts are now the best option for stopping the President’s executive actions on immigration. A federal judge in Texas has temporarily prevented implementation of the questioned policies, an action the Administration has appealed.

President Obama is expected to sign the measure, which funds DHS through the end of September, just as Congress begins debate on spending bills for the next fiscal year.