Friday, February 27, 2015

SHUTTING DOWN: Arizona Delegation Crosses Party Lines, Votes 6-3 Against Stopgap DHS Funding Bill (AZ Senators Vote "Aye")

Congressional Republicans tried to avert a midnight shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security today by passing a three-week funding bill.  Most of Arizona's Republican Congressmembers voted with Democrats in thwarting the stopgap measure.

Earlier today, the Senate overwhelmingly stripped the anti-Obama immigration executive action riders out of the bill and passed the DHS funding through September.  The 68-31 vote included Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake (both Republicans) voting "aye".

The drama was in the House, however.  Knowing that the stripped version would not fly there, Speaker John Boehner and Republican leadership put forward the three-week stopgap, and tried to get their colleagues to vote for it.

Three of Arizona's five Republicans withstood the pressure, and helped vote it down, 203-224.  Reps. Paul Gosar (R-CD4), Matt Salmon (R-CD5) and Trent Franks (R-CD8) were among the 52 Republicans to vote "nay".

On the flip side, House Democratic leadership applied a lot of pressure on its members to also oppose the three-week can-kicking.  However, Arizona's Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9) joined 11 other Democrats in voting "aye".

Barring last minute developments, the Department will shut down tonight. "Non-essential" employees will be furloughed and the majority of DHS employees who are deemed "essential" will be required to continue working without a paycheck until a funding measure is passed.

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