House approves Homeland Security funding
The spending bill cleared the House on a 257-167 vote only because of the unanimous support of House Democrats.
All 167 “no” votes came from Republicans — more than twice as many as the 75 who supported the bill. Out of 21 House GOP committee chairmen, 12 broke with leadership and voted against the clean funding bill. Nine voted “yes.”
The $40 billion bill keeps the DHS funded through the fiscal year, ending Sept. 30, but is stripped of GOP-favored provisions aimed at halting Obama’s controversial executive actions on immigration. The so-called clean funding bill had passed the Senate earlier; it now goes to Obama, who has already vowed to sign it.
The DHS fight exposed deep fissures between House Republicans, who wanted to take a more aggressive stance, and Senate Republicans, who argued early on that Obama had a stronger hand in the standoff and would ultimately prevail.
Conservatives said they weren’t surprised Boehner capitulated to Democrats. “I believe this is a sad day for America,” Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) said on the House floor during a vigorous debate before the vote. “If we aren’t going to fight now, when are we going to fight?”
The Speaker told rank-and-file members the House had voted to fund the DHS and stop Obama’s executive actions but that Senate Democrats repeatedly had blocked the bill from moving forward, according to a source in the room.
Republicans’ best shot to stop Obama’s immigration policies, Boehner explained, is now in the courts. A federal judge from Texas has temporarily halted the policies from taking effect, ruling that the president’s actions violated federal law. The administration has appealed.
Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), a close ally of Boehner’s, made the motion Tuesday to use an obscure House rule to bring the Senate-passed funding bill to a House vote.
The House first passed a new funding bill in January with provisions that would reverse Obama’s immigration policies from 2011, 2012 and 2014. Senate Democrats, despite being in the minority, blocked it four times from reaching the Senate floor.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who had wanted to start the new Congress with a fully-funded government, made a deal with Senate Democrats last week to send a clean bill back to the House.