The United States Congress has passed a spending bill of $1.1 trillion for its 2015 fiscal year capping difficult week of acrimonious wrangling but averting a shutdown of the government and sending the new measure for the President to sign.
The bill narrowly passed in the House this past Thursday and survived a number of hurdles in the Senate on a 56 to 40 vote during a rare session on the weekend. The bill funds close to all agencies of the federal government through the end of September of 2015.
However, the funding for the Department of Homeland Security is good only through February, which will set up a showdown over the controversial immigration plan by President Obama early in the New Year when the new Congress will be fully controlled by the Republicans.
The Republicans will likely take a shot at rolling back Obama’s executive order that shields millions of undocumented immigrants from being deported.
Despite the dramatic bickering that sometimes went on between and at times within the two political parties during the special session, the measure needed bipartisanship to be passed in the chamber led by the Democrats.
Harry Reid the current Majority Leader of the Senate said the new legislation was imperfect by a compromise that was necessary.
He added that since 2011, the U.S. Congress has moved from crisis to crisis with the U.S. always under a constant threat of a financial catastrophe or a government shutdown. It is not a good habit said Reid and the people in the country are tired of it.
Of the 40 votes against the measure in the Senate, 22 were from Democrats many of who were furious that the negotiators had inserted policy riders that were deeply controversial into the measure, including one rolling back the key financial regulation on banks.
The White House indicated the bill would be signed by Obama.
The battle over this was bruising and included a revolt by Democrats in the House that came close to sinking the measure earlier in the week and carried on in the Senate with a number of delay tactics.