With a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security just hours away, House Republicans appear to have decided to back away from the cliff and pass a "clean" funding bill that will keep the department open—for a few weeks. After a House GOP meeting yesterday on a stopgap bill to fund DHS for three weeks, Rep. Walter B. Jones told the Washington Post that a "majority, probably, are inclined to support it," although he personally doesn't support a bill that doesn't link funding to President Obama's actions on immigration. Democratic leaders urged House Speaker John Boehner to bring the measure to a vote and not try to add any immigration riders, the Post reports.
The House is expected to vote on the stopgap bill today, reports the AP, which notes that if the move to extend current Homeland Security funding levels until March 19 fails to pass, some 30,000 DHS workers will be furloughed at midnight and 200,000 will be expected to work without pay. A longer-term spending bill with no link to immigration is making its way through the Senate, Politico reports, and some of the less hard-line House Republicans predict that the House will eventually have to accept it. "The only question is when—tomorrow or in three weeks," Rep. Charlie Dent tells the AP. "Some folks just have a harder time facing political reality than others." (Read more Department of Homeland Security stories.)