It was Democrats to the rescue—again.
A huge bipartisan coalition came together Friday night to approve a one-week funding bill for the Homeland Security Department, preventing a partial government shutdown with just a couple of hours to spare.
Nearly every House Democrat joined most Republicans to pass the measure 357-60 after GOP leaders failed to squeeze out a short-term victory earlier Friday when the chamber rejected a three-week funding bill amid fierce opposition from conservatives, who were angered that the bill didn't include provisions defunding President Obama's immigration executive orders.
Democrats now hope the chamber will get to vote by March 6 on the Senate-passed long-term clean DHS funding bill, though Republican leaders claim no promises have been made on that front. But Speaker John Boehner will still have to cope with fallout from his own GOP troops, who are furious that he has not been able to sufficiently battle back against Obama on a variety of fronts.
The dramatic 203-224 vote on the three-week bill, held open for several minutes to no avail, came after a day's worth of intense lobbying by the leadership of skeptical members across the conference, particularly in the end. In total, 52 Republicans joined all but a dozen Democrats in voting against the measure, which was supposed to go to the Senate so it could be approved later Friday. White House spokesman Josh Earnest indicated that Obama would sign it, even though he would still prefer a full-year clean bill of the type the Senate passed Friday morning.