The House on Tuesday admitted defeat after a month-long effort to defund President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, and passed a Department of Homeland Security funding bill that leaves Obama’s plan intact.
The vote came after dozens of House Republicans fought to the bitter end to reject the “clean” DHS bill, in an effort to oppose what they see as an unconstitutional action from Obama. The House passed the bill 257-167, and sending it to the White House for Obama’s signature into law.
(Scroll down to see a list of House Republicans who voted for the “clean” DHS bill)
In the end, 167 Republicans voted against the Senate’s version of the bill. But because the bill was supported by every Democrat, only 30 or so Republicans had to support it to ensure it’s passage, and 75 GOP members voted for it.
The vote marks the end of a bitter fight over Obama’s immigration action that saw Senate Democrats dictate the terms of the dispute throughout the entire process. The House was able to easily pass a bill defunding Obama’s immigration plan, but when it got to the Senate, Democrats refused to provide the six or so votes needed to advance the legislation.
After a few weeks, with pressure building on the GOP to fund DHS, Democrats were able to force the Senate to approve a DHS bill that didn’t include any immigration language at all. On top of that, Senate Democrats refused to negotiate with the House on the bill.
That forced House GOP leaders to concede that they could either force a partial DHS shutdown, or admit defeat.
In floor debate, Republicans on both sides of the issue blamed Senate Democrats for refusing to follow basic procedures and forcing the House’s hand. But GOP members split on just how hard the House should have fought back.
Rep. Tom Massie (R-Ky.) led the group of Republicans who opposed the clean DHS bill, even at the risk of a partial DHS shutdown, in order to make the point that the House shouldn’t be steamrolled by the White House and the Senate.
“Today we heard Mr. Netanyahu say this is the most powerful legislative… organization in the world,” Massie said. “I would say it is, except for when the Senate decides that it’s not.”
“The fault lies in the U.S. Senate,” added Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.).
Several others agreed that the need to protect the constitutional role of the House was a larger issue than DHS funding. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) rejected the Democratic criticism that Republicans can’t “govern,” and said conservative GOP members are trying to follow the Constitution.
“If it was just about governing, then I think that the American people can just close shop and let the president just run everything. But we actually have a constitution that we have to adhere to,” he said.
“Despots all over the world, they govern. They keep the trains running on time. But we stand for something different,” he added.
Other Republicans, however, argued that there was no where else to go in the fight except a DHS shutdown that would bring Republicans more scorn and derision.
“The problem is, I don’t see a path to victory,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho).
Many other Republicans noted that a federal court has imposed an injunction on Obama’s plan, which has prevented key parts of Obama’s program from being implemented. Several have said the GOP should claim that as a win and move on by ensuring DHS is funded.
Below is the full list of House Republicans to voted for the “clean” DHS spending bill:
2. Bishop (Mich.)
5. Brooks (Ind.)
8. Carter (Texas)
11. Collins (N.Y.)
13. Costello (Pa.)
14. Curbelo (Fla.)
15. Davis, Rodney
20. Ellmers (N.C.)
21. Emmer (Minn.)
29. Heck (Nev.)
30. Hurd (Texas)
33. King (N.Y.)
34. Kinzinger (Ill.)
43. McMorris Rogers
46. Miller (Mich.)
48. Murphy (Pa.)
56. Rogers (Ky.)
59. Ryan (Wis.)
64. Smith (N.J.)
67. Thompson (Pa.)
74. Walters, Mimi
75. Young (Ind.)