The DHS funding bill was the opening shot in what is likely to be a contentious weekslong fight over how to deal with appropriations for the agency before its funding runs out at the end of February. For now, Republicans and Democrats have drawn lines in the sand: Most GOP House members said they would not vote to fund DHS without measures to end many of President Barack Obama's immigration policies, while Democrats and the president have vowed to oppose anything that includes those amendments.
But the vote also showed a schism in the House Republicans -- this time from moderates rather than the usual revolts by immigration hardliners. Those moderates nearly derailed an amendment to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA, which helps undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Twenty-six House Republicans joined with Democrats to oppose that amendment, which narrowly passed in a 218-209 vote.
The vote on the full bill was 236-191. Ten Republicans opposed final passage, and two Democrats split with their party to support it.
"We do not take this action lightly, but simply, there is no alternative," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a floor speech just before the vote. "It's not a dispute between the parties or even the branches of our government. This executive overreach is an affront to the rule of law and to the Constitution itself."