House Approves Clean DHS Funding Bill

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

After weeks of relative stalemate, House Republican leadership caved to the demands of Democrats and allowed a “clean” Department of Homeland Security appropriations to come to the floor Tuesday.

The measure passed 257-167 with majority Democratic votes. Seventy-five Republicans voted to pass the clean bill, 167 voted against passage.

The full funding of DHS through September 30 — leaving President Obama’s executive amnesty untouched — comes after weeks of wrangling.

Last month the House passed a DHS funding bill that also defunded President Obama’s executive amnesty. Senate Democrats spent the much of the month of February blocking the House-passed bill from getting to the Senate floor for debate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell eventually acquiesced to Democrats’ demands for a so-called “clean” DHS funding bill — or one free of the Democrat-opposed House immigration riders — last week. That clean bill passed the Senate, creating discord between the House- and Senate-passed bills.

In an embarrassing defeat for House leadership, Friday 52 Republicans helped to defeat a three-week stop-gap continuing resolution to give the House and Senate more time to reach an agreement.

The defeat of the three-week provision came after House Republicans on passed a motion to go to conference with the Senate to reconcile the chambers’ divergent funding bills on a vote of 228-191. Sending the matter back to the Senate.

In order to prevent funding from lapsing, late Friday night, with a shutdown looming, Congress passed a one-week stop-gap funding bill.

Monday night Senate Democrats voted to block Republican calls for a conference committee, putting the action back in the House.

Tuesday morning at their weekly conference meeting, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) informed his caucus that the House would be voting on a clean DHS funding bill.

“I am as outraged and frustrated as you at the lawless and unconstitutional actions of this president,” Boehner told his conference, according to Politico. “I believe this decision – considering where we are – is the right one for this team, and the right one for this country.”

House leadership’s move has angered House conservatives who say it allows Obama’s “unconstitutional” actions and weakened Congress’ power.

“This isn’t about party,” Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) said following the vote. “This isn’t about policy. It isn’t about politics.  My opposition to this bill is based primarily on the fundamental separation of powers which the President has violated. The same powers he himself said over 20 times that he did not hold.”


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