The country lurched closer toward a partial government shutdown on Friday evening as House lawmakers rejected the GOP leadership's effort to fund the Department of Homeland Security for three weeks in order to stave off a showdown over President Obama's immigration actions.
Hours after the Senate voted to approve DHS funding for the full fiscal year, the lower chamber shot down the House Speaker John Boehner's short-term plan, with 203 members voting in favor and 224 voting no.
Boehner and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy aggressively whipped votes during the extended voting period, as it became clear that the measure was in peril. A vocal faction of conservatives objected that the bill did not defund Obama's moves offering deportation reprieves for up to 5 million unauthorized immigrants. Fifty-four Republicans voted against the legislation; 12 Democrats supported it.
Eager to avoid a DHS shutdown, the White House announced Friday that Obama would have signed a three-week continuing resolution, even though the administration preferred funding for the full year.
Funding for the department expires at midnight. In the event of a shutdown, about 30,000 of the department's estimated 240,000 employees would be furloughed; tens of thousands of others would work without pay.