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US Congress passes security funding, averting crisis

Congress needed to fund DHS by Friday or the agency would have run out of money, although in the event of a shutdown, most border personnel, airport screeners and Secret Service agents would remain on the job without payCongress finally gave the Department of Homeland Security its due, funding the crucial US agency after months of political wrangling that threatened to plunge it into shutdown. With the House voting 257 to 167 to approve finances for DHS through the end of the fiscal year September 30, the $39.7 billion bill — passed last week by the Senate without controversial immigration riders attached — headed to President Barack Obama for his signature. It marked a dramatic turn of events on Capitol Hill, where Republicans had sought to tie the funding with efforts to repeal Obama’s immigration directives, which caused a political furor when he unveiled them over Republican objections in November. Obama’s Democrats had insisted on keeping the two issues separate, and after several political clashes nearly turned the money spigot off for DHS, congressional leaders finally called a truce.

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