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December 8, 2014

U.S. House Opposes President Obama’s Recent Immigration Executive Order

Last Thursday the U.S. House passed legislation that, according to Congressional Quarterly (subscription required), “[P]rohibits the executive branch from exempting or deferring from deportation any immigrants considered to be unlawfully present in the United States under U.S. immigration law” and “prohibits the administration from treating those immigrants as if they were lawfully present or had lawful immigration status.” The bill passed on a 219 to 197 vote, but is unlikely to be taken up by the Senate, which remains under Democratic control until early January, this month. (See how your member of Congress voted here.) 

House conservatives demanded the chamber take action to rebuke the president’s action but, importantly, passage of this bill will most likely keep the fight over immigration from bleeding into debate over the final fiscal year 2015 funding bill and spurring a federal government shutdown.

CNN explains: “Many House conservatives have been pressing Speaker John Boehner to go further in responding to the President's immigration policy, insisting that the House strip away any money in the annual government spending bill so it can prevent the Administration from carrying out its plans. But Boehner and other GOP leaders don't want to risk another shutdown, after the one last fall inflicted major political damage to the party. Instead Republican leaders argue that a vote on this separate bill puts the House on record, and positions them to fight back against the President's executive orders next year, when the GOP controls both the House and the Senate.”