John Boehner

He bucks conservatives to pass a ‘clean’ Homeland Security funding bill. M.Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO)

By Lauren French, Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan
3/3/15 8:57 AM EST
Updated 3/3/15 5:01 PM EST

The House approved a nine-month funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security Tuesday, breaking a lengthy stalemate over President Barack Obama’s immigration policies that exacerbated the rift between Speaker John Boehner and the conservative wing of his conference.

The measure passed 257-167, with 182 Democrats and 75 Republicans voting to beat a Friday midnight deadline for DHS funding to expire. Voting against the measure were 167 Republicans, many in protest to the lack of language to block Obama’s immigration policies.

The vote ends a three-month battle over Obama’s decision to use executive powers to shield nearly 5 million immigrants from deportation, a move that enraged congressional Republicans. Boehner was only able to avoid a government shutdown last Friday after backroom negotiations with House Democrats led to a vote on a “clean” funding bill this week.

“After bringing our Homeland Security to the brink of a shutdown, I’m glad Republicans have finally realized the futility in refusing to protect the American people,” Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), the vice chairman of the Democratic caucus. “Picking a fight with President Obama and jeopardizing the safety of American families was not only absurd, but it was downright dangerous.”

The Senate has already approved a bill to extend DHS funding through September, so the legislation now heads to Obama’s desk to be signed.

Boehner (R-Ohio) was forced to use an obscure procedural rule to reverse an earlier vote against a clean bill, after the House and Senate were unable to forge an agreement to enter conference negotiations before DHS funding expires. The vote allows the House to reverses its position of disagreeing with the Senate’s legislation.

When announcing his plan to Republicans Tuesday morning, Boehner told GOP House members his decision to allow a clean funding bill to come to the House floor was “the right one for this team, and the right one for this country.”

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