Cristina Marcos, The Hill, December 4, 2014
The House on Thursday voted to bar the executive branch from deferring the deportation of undocumented workers, taking its first direct action against President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
The 219-197 vote, with three lawmakers voting present, was largely symbolic as the measure is headed for certain death in the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he won’t take up the legislation. The White House has also threatened to veto the measure.
The vote on legislation sponsored by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) is intended to help Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) move a bill next week that would fund most of the government through next September and avoid a government shutdown on Dec. 12.
Conservative groups have pressed the GOP to defund agencies implementing Obama’s order in response to the president’s actions.
But Boehner and his leadership team have settled on a strategy that would fund most of the government through September 2015, while only funding the Department of Homeland Security for a few months. Appropriators are expected to release the legislation on Monday.
Dozens of Republicans are expected to vote against the funding measure next week, which will force Boehner to win Democratic votes for the measure. Only 7 Republicans voted against Yoho’s bill, while three others voted present. Only three Democrats supported it.
Boehner, for his part, dismissed criticism from conservatives in his party who say the leadership’s response to Obama wasn’t aggressive enough. He said his team’s approach–the disapproval measure, plus keeping DHS on a short funding leash–was the best option until Republicans take control of both chambers of Congress next month.