House rejects Homeland Security funding

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walks to the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, for a procedural vote as Congress moves toward a spending bill for the Homeland Security Department hours before a shutdown was to begin. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON — The Republican-controlled House unexpectedly rejected short-term funding for the Department of Homeland Security on Friday, increasing the prospect of a partial shutdown at midnight of an agency with significant anti-terrorism responsibilities.

The vote was 224-203 against the measure, as more than four dozen Republicans defected on the leadership-backed legislation.

A combination of conservative, tea party-backed Republicans on one side of the political aisle and Democrats on the other opposed the bill. The first group was upset because the legislation had been stripped of changes to President Barack Obama’s immigration policy, and the second because it lacked full-year funding for the sprawling department.

With less than seven few hours remaining before the midnight deadline, it was unclear what Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders would next propose.

Democrats led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California urged them in advance to allow a vote on a bill to keep the department in funds through the Sept. 30 end of the budget year — a step the GOP high command had previously refused to take.

“You have made a mess,” Pelosi said to Republicans as debate neared an end on the measure.