Congress passed legislation this week that will fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) without blocking President Obama’s immigration measures, ending a months long battle that could have shut down DHS.  Late last Friday, lawmakers passed a one-week extension of the agency’s funding, just hours before a midnight deadline that would have triggered a partial shutdown of the agency.  That one week extension was set to run out at midnight today,  but with the bill’s passage this week, DHS funding will now go through to September 30, 2015.

The House passed a “clean” DHS funding bill without any immigration provisions on Tuesday by a vote of 257 to 167.  The Senate passed a “clean” version of the bill last week.  On Monday this week, Senate Democrats blocked a House-passed measure that included the formation of  a conference committee between the two chambers to work out the differences over competing DHS-funding measures.

Last week, House Speaker Boehner (R-OH) introduced a stopgap three-week funding bill that was defeated by conservative House Republicans that wished to use the DHS funding debate to fight President Obama on immigration.   Fifty-two Republicans joined most Democrats to sink Speaker Boehner’s three-week bill.  Conservatives are frustrated over the substance of the president’s immigration directives and angry about the method, saying his executive maneuvers overstepped his authority and are unconstitutional.  At the same time, Democrats were calling on Speaker Boehner to hold a House vote on the Senate-passed bill that would provide funding for DHS for the remainder of the fiscal year and that would not affect Obama’s executive actions on immigration.