House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers said House and Senate negotiators are wrapping up negotiations over government funding bills and are hoping to file a consolidated bill to fund all agencies except the Department of Homeland Security for the rest of fiscal 2015.
Homeland Security is likely to be funded until February due to a group of lawmakers’ disagreement with the administration’s immigration policy. But the primary agency within the Department of Homeland Security that’s responsible for carrying out the administration’s immigration executive action is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is funded entirely through fees collected from immigration applications and therefore cannot be defunded in the appropriations process.
To avoid a government shutdown, Congress must pass a new government funding bill before Dec. 11 when the current funding measure expires. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and others are calling on Congress to fund the entire government for the rest of the fiscal year and also at the higher fiscal 2015 levels, not fiscal 2014. House leaders have expressed their desire to avoid a government shutdown, but a handful of lawmakers refuse to take any option off the table, including a government shutdown.