The Republican-controlled Congress sent legislation to President Obama on Tuesday to fund the Department of Homeland Security without any of the immigration-related concessions it demanded for months.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, acceded to Democratic demands to fully fund the agency, and the legislation passed 257 to 167, with the support of all the Democrats who voted but just 75 Republicans, less than a third of the conference.
The outcome was a blow to Boehner, who was unable to control his troops and backed down after concluding that the fight couldn't be won through legislation.
Boehner pointed to the judicial battle over Obama’s immigration actions as a sign that the confrontation isn't over.
The opposition Boehner faces is led by the Freedom Caucus, a small group of conservatives that frequently has clashed with the speaker. While members of the group say they won't move to depose Boehner as speaker, they also say they won't roll over for party leaders when they disagree with them.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., a Boehner supporter, says that when he reviewed the list of 52 Republicans who opposed Boehner's legislative move last week, he saw some who were “irreconcilable,” others who were “misled” and a third group seeking to avoid conservative primary challengers.