Texas Republicans overwhelmingly voted “no” Tuesday on funding the Department of Homeland Security without immigration conditions, except for four members, including Fort Worth Rep. Kay Granger.
The vote to continue funding the agency, responsible for anti-terrorism activities, as well as immigration and border patrol, split all Republicans. In the 257-167 vote on passage, only 75 Republicans joined Democrats in approving the bill, with all the “no” votes coming from the GOP.
But the Republican votes helped House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, save face after an initial short-term attempt to fund the agency last week was soundly defeated. A subsequent, one-week funding measure passed.
In a departure from the speaker’s usual practice of not voting on legislation, Boehner Tuesday voted in favor of it.
In addition to Granger, Republican Reps. Mike McCaul of Austin, John Carter of Round Rock and Will Hurd of Helotes also voted to support the funding.
“Congresswoman Granger refused to be a part of shutting down the Department of Homeland Security,” said Steve Dutton, Granger’s spokesman, in an email. “She has never agreed with the president’s illegal executive actions on immigration and continues to believe that more should be done to stop his overreach of presidential authority on numerous fronts.”
The vote was very sensitive in Republican ranks, but the four Texas GOP members who voted “yes” have institutional reasons to support the funding. The legislation is an appropriations bill and both Granger and Carter chair subcommittees on the House Appropriations Committee.
The vast majority of the 25-strong Texas Republican delegation members were opposed to a “clean” funding bill for the year.
“I once again voted no,” said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, who represents a portion of Tarrant County, “but the Senate Amendment … still passed. We must now hope that the recent ruling by a federal district judge stands so the president’s unconstitutional executive action on immigration does not move forward.”
A Texas judge blocked the administration’s executive action last month.
Democrats cheered the successful funding outcome.
“Today, House Republican leadership finally listened to the will of the American people and joined House Democrats in fully funding the Department of Homeland Security through the end of Fiscal Year 2015,” Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth. “This is a great victory for the American people who are tired of House leadership trying and failing to appease the most extreme elements of their party with shutdown politics.”