U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday waved the white flag on a Republican attempt to nix the president’s executive actions on immigration.
GOP leaders had threatened to let Department of Homeland Security funding expire at the end of February, unless the funding measure also contained language overturning the president’s order.
In the end, however, Boehner allowed a vote on a no-strings bill to fund DHS through the end of the year. The measure passed, 257-167. Most in support were Democrats, but some 75 Republicans also voted yes. The bill already had passed the Republican-controlled Senate, and the president is expected to sign it.
Tuesday’s passage followed a terse standoff last Friday night in which Tea Party Republicans refused to support a three-week DHS funding extension to buy the House and Senate more time to work out their differences. Democrats instead helped Republicans pass a last-minute, one-week extension to avoid shutting the department down.
The president’s executive actions, issued on Nov. 20, established federal immigration enforcement priorities, in effect shielding certain undocumented residents from deportation. It directed that criminals and those who recently crossed the border illegally be deported first, while allowing those who are longtime residents, workers, or the parents of American citizens to seek deferred enforcement and temporary work authorization if they can pass required background checks.
The policy is currently on hold due to a federal court order.