Congress punts, McSally votes for 1-week DHS extension
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Congress punts, McSally votes for 1-week DHS extension

Grijalva votes against Homeland Security funding extension

With just hours to go before a midnight shutdown, Congress voted Friday to fund the Department of Homeland Security — including the Border Patrol — for one more week. The stopgap move does nothing to resolve the impasse between rightwing Republicans who want to roll back President Obama's immigration policies, and Democrats who want a vote on a "clean" funding bill for the department.

Senate Democrats will continue to use procedural moves to block that Republican effort next week. Earlier Friday, the House failed to pass a bill that would have extended DHS funding for another three weeks.

That bill failed, 203-224, because some Republicans refused to vote for a measure that did not explicitly block funding for Obama's recent executive actions on immigration.

Nearly every House Democrat joined a majority of Republicans to pass the one-week extension, 357-60.

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally voted with House Speaker John Boehner in favor of the longer extension. U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva joined the majority of Democrats in the vote; just 12 voted for the three-week extension in a move to pressure the GOP into bringing the "clean" version up for a vote.

McSally also cast a vote in favor of the one-week extension. Grijalva voted against that bill, as well, while many in the Democratic House leadership, including Nancy Pelosi, supported the measure.

U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick also voted in favor of both bills.

"Keeping our communities safe is a top priority of mine. Instead of holding up funding for the men and women who secure our border and defend our homeland, Congress should act to stop the president’s overreach by doing its job," McSally said in a statement released by her office after the vote.

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"I remained committed to ensuring that our homeland security assets are funded and will continue to work with my colleagues to secure our border and fix our broken immigration system," the freshman Republican said.

Following the lead of Republican House leadership, McSally had waited on the Senate to act before saying yea or nay on a "clean" funding bill for DHS. The agency's appropriated funding was set to run out at midnight Friday.

That doesn't mean McSally was mum. She took the opportunity Wednesday to pen a 500-word op-ed for USA Today, but avoiding saying whether she'd support funding for the agency that isn't tied to blocking Obama's recent executive actions.

Last month, McSally — in one of the "against it before I was for it" moves common in Congress — was one of 26 House Republicans who voted against an amendment targeting the administration's deferred action programs. But she then voted for a DHS appropriation bill that included the amendment stripping funding for Obama's executive action on immigration.

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343 comments
Feb 28, 2015, 7:12 pm
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McSally is already showing herself to be a person who cares nothing about the people of this district unless they are cattle ranchers, military retirees or stockholderers in coal fired electric plants.

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Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com

McSally led a congressional junket along the border in January, including a short stop to speak with reporters just west of Naco.