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Government shutdown looms as Congress sorts through DHS funding

Congress is beginning the week without a deal to avert a partial government shutdown by Friday's deadline -- as funding for the Department of Homeland Security trips up negotiations.

The Friday deadline is for the remaining six of 12 spending bills after Congress passed the first six earlier this month -- averting a partial government shutdown in the process.

This funding package will need to clear both chambers by Friday at midnight.

MORE: Senate passes 6 funding bills to avert partial government shutdown before midnight deadline

PHOTO: In this photo illustration on May 24, 2019 the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) logo is seen displayed on a smartphone. (Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: In this photo illustration on May 24, 2019 the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) logo is seen displayed on a smartphone. (Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images, FILE)

It was widely expected that negotiators would release legislative text for a government funding package by Sunday, but they blew through that deadline, raising questions about the prospects of a shutdown. Lawmakers are in crunch time to prevent a shutdown: the House has a rule requiring 72 hours for members to review legislation before voting; the Senate also can take a few days to process House-passed bills.

If there's no bill text Monday, that potentially pushes votes off until the end of the week or weekend -- increasing the chances of shutdown -- unless House Speaker Mike Johnson speeds up the process.

Congress has nearly shut the government down, at least partially, five times since October.

The hang-up, according to GOP leadership sources, is funding for DHS, which would keep the agency funded at current levels. That would essentially be a cut – a strong signal given the surge of migrants at the southern border and that immigration is a key wedge issue in an election year.

MORE: Immigration emerges as key 2024 election wedge issue for Trump, vulnerability for Biden

A major sticking point is funding for border enforcement -- something Republicans want more money allocated to after a record number of migrant encounters at the southern border late last year.

Democrats, meanwhile, are pushing for more money for pay equity in the Transportation Security Administration.

PHOTO: The U.S. Capitol building is seen from the base of the Washington Monument as the sun sets over the National Mall on March 16, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
PHOTO: The U.S. Capitol building is seen from the base of the Washington Monument as the sun sets over the National Mall on March 16, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Talks on funding for DHS were already in bad shape last week and congressional leaders ended up proposing a full-year continuing resolution to fund the department. The White House threatened to reject the CR over the weekend, according to a GOP leadership source.

During the White House press briefing Monday, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said DHS is in need of additional funding to do their jobs effectively.

"We believe DHS needs additional funding to deal with the security operations and much more at the border," Jean-Pierre said.

Raj Shah, a spokesman for Johnson, said House Republicans are working together to "reach consensus."

"House Republicans will continue to work in good faith to reach consensus on the appropriations bills that reprioritizes DHS funding towards enforcing border and immigration laws," Shah said in a statement.

In a letter Monday, the House Freedom Caucus -- made up of many of the House's most conservative members -- urged Republicans to dismantle Biden's "disastrous" border policies.

"A vote to fund this government without policy reforms is a vote for these policies," the letter said.

Sources says the other five funding bills are complete and agreed upon. The other bills include funding agencies such as the departments of Defense, State and Education.

PHOTO: U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson speaks during The Friends Of Ireland Speaker Luncheon on March 15, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Tom Brenner/Getty Images)
PHOTO: U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson speaks during The Friends Of Ireland Speaker Luncheon on March 15, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Tom Brenner/Getty Images)

Asked about the threat of a shutdown during the press briefing, Jean-Pierre said the White House is "hopeful that Congress can get to the bottom of this."

"This is important. It's critical we keep the government open -- it's not just DHS," adding that many other federal programs Americans rely on will be impacted.

This debacle is the latest challenge for Johnson, who has worked to come up plans to avert several shutdowns with his party's razor-thin majority. He has had to rely on House Democrats' votes to prevent shutdowns -- something that landed his predecessor Kevin McCarthy in hot water with the party and contributed to his ouster last year.

Many House Republicans have not aligned with Johnson on his plans to fund the government, with many pushing back on his plans to use continuing resolutions.

At the Republican retreat in West Virginia last week, Johnson said he was confident they'd be able to avert a shutdown.

ABC News' Sarah Beth Hensley contributed to this report.

Government shutdown looms as Congress sorts through DHS funding originally appeared on abcnews.go.com