Stopgap DHS funding fails in US House, midnight shutdown looms

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and former Homeland Security secretaries Tom Ridge (L) and Michael Chertoff (R) leave after speaking about the possible shutdown of the department at a press conference in Washington, DC, February 25, 2015The US House rejected Republican leadership, failing to approve a three-week extension of Department of Homeland Security funding and setting up a dramatic showdown hours before the agency goes into partial shutdown. If Congress can not pass legislation that allows money to flow, 30,000 DHS employees will be furloughed, while some 200,000 agency staff, including border agents, will be ordered to work without pay. Keeping the DHS funded is a congressional priority, but it became embroiled in bitter political battle over President Barack Obama’s immigration plan, which most Democrats support. The Senate approved a “clean” DHS funding bill Friday free of controversial amendments sought by House Republicans to block Obama’s immigration executive orders.

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