Late on Friday night, the US Congress reached a deal that would avert the Department of Homeland Security being defunded from midnight. President Obama signed it shortly after it passed the two houses and a shutdown of this Department was avoided…at least in the short term. This funding only gives one more week of funding to the Department – not the funding until September that was hoped for.
The key reason for this – discussed in a previous blog post – is that the Republicans are hoping to use the DHS funding as a bargaining chip against Obama’s executive order on immigration. However, in this high-stakes game of chicken, the unwillingness to compromise between Congress and Obama is good evidence for the flaws in the checks and balances system. Equally, Obama’s use of the veto last week is unlikely to have done anything to advance bipartisan relations in Washington DC.
It seems to be shaping up to be a bitter two years in American politics!