Shortly before a midnight deadline, the U.S. House on Friday night approved a one-week extension of funds for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), avoiding a partial DHS shutdown while keeping alive the dispute over President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.
Earlier in the evening, the Republican-majority House rejected a bill that would have kept DHS open for three weeks, an unexpected development that raised more questions about the ability of House Speaker John Boehner to deliver votes from his Republican colleagues.
The political maneuvers -- in which congressional Republicans continue trying to link funding for DHS to legislation rolling back Obama's immigration orders, while Senate Democrats block that effort -- are set to go on with no clear path to resolution in sight.
On a 68-31 bipartisan vote ahead of the House votes on Friday, the Republican-majority Senate approved a longer-term DHS funding bill after removing provisions opposed by Democrats that would have blocked Obama's immigration orders.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell used a strategy in which he promised to schedule debate and a vote separately on the issue of Obama's immigration orders. But the House did not adopt a similar strategy.
Prior to the second House vote on Friday night, Obama convened a meeting in the Oval Office with Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan and members of his senior team to discuss the impending deadline for funding DHS, the White House announced.
Obama then called House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid "to get an update on efforts to ensure that the Department of Homeland Security does not shut down," the White House statement said.
The latest funding showdown comes more than 16 months after political gridlock forced the entire U.S. government into a shutdown, for which a majority of Americans polled blamed the Republicans. Recent polls indicate the Republicans would get most of the blame again if DHS is shut down.