President Obama notched another big victory as Republicans put off their attempts to stop his immigration order and agreed to fund all of the federal government except Homeland Security through September 2015.
The Washington Post reported,
Congressional leaders have reached agreement on a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill that will keep most of the federal government funded through next September.
Months of protracted negotiations between Democratic and Republican leaders concluded on Tuesday night, with passage expected in the coming days, according to top aides. Final details of the legislation were still being sorted out and leaders were still mulling whether to approve a stopgap bill to give lawmakers a few more days to pass the final bill and avoid a government shutdown.
Republicans are setting up a fight over President Obama’s immigration executive orders by setting the expiration date for Homeland Security funding for late winter 2015, but the deal also gives Republicans an easy out as they can quietly extend Homeland Security funding when the deadline approaches.
The truth is that this is a massive victory for President Obama. Republicans will only have control over one budget before the 2016 presidential election puts a halt to any controversial congressional activity. Boehner and McConnell won’t shutdown the government in the middle of a presidential election, so it appears that 2015 will another year of budget battles.
President Obama is in a good position as Republicans prepare to take control of the Senate. The government shutdown threat is off the table for most of next year. The president has a coalition of Senate liberals that are willing to uphold his vetoes, and Democrats have an electoral map that tilts in their favor in 2016.
It’s looking like the new Republican congressional majority won’t accomplish much, if anything, next year. Fear of a government shutdown has forced Boehner and McConnell into Obama’s trap.
Republicans may control Congress next year, but President Obama remains the puppet master who is pulling their strings.