House Votes To Block Obama's Immigration Actions
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We begin this hour with the fight over funding at the Department of Homeland Security. The House today voted to overturn President Obama's executive actions on immigration. Those provisions were attached to a nearly $40 billion measure to pay for homeland security spending. Coming up, we'll hear from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, but first NPR's Brian Naylor has more on today's vote in Congress.
BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: House Republicans voted to block the president from acting on immigration while insisting their actions were not about immigration, but rather reeling in a presidential misuse of power. Here's House Speaker John Boehner.
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REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: We do not take this action lightly, but simply, there is no alternative. This is not a dispute between the parties or even between the branches of our government. This executive overreach is an affront to the rule of law and to the Constitution itself.
NAYLOR: All told, House Republicans approved five amendments to the homeland security spending bill. They included blocking the president's 2012 action that protects, from deportation, young people who were brought here illegally by their parents. That amendment went too far for 26 Republicans, some of whom have large Latino constituencies. Those Republicans voted against the amendment, as did every Democrat.
The House also voted to block the president's action of last month, which differs deportation of parents of children who were born in the U.S. or who have green cards. After the vote, the White House reiterated its position that the president would veto the House bill as it's written. In a conference call with reporters, White House Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Munoz said the House's amendments amounted to political theater.
CECILIA MUNOZ: There is long way to go in this process, but, obviously, what the priority of the administration is to fund the department, and there is no reason to tinker with the executive actions at all.
NAYLOR: The bill now goes on to the Senate, where it will need 60 votes to pass, a prospect seen as unlikely. Brian Naylor, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.