The House on Thursday easily passed a bill rebuking President Obama for his executive action that will grant legal work status to millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States.
The bill, sponsored by conservative stalwart Rep. Ted Yoho, passed on a 219 to 197 vote.
"The president thumbed his nose at the American people with his actions on immigration, and the House will make clear today that we are rejecting his unilateral actions," Boehner said at a press conference before of the vote. "The Unites States Senate should take up this bill and pass it. For the outgoing Senate Democrat majority to do anything less would be an act of monumental arrogance."
Yet many in the GOP Conference view the measure is largely symbolic as it will certainly not be taken up by the Senate. House Republican leaders brought it up to give their rank and file an avenue to channel their frustration over what they see as a constitutional violation in Obama's executive order.
Instead, members are channeling their frustration at leadership. The legislation was meant to ease passage of an omnibus appropriations bill, but the Republicans who voted against Yoho's bill — and other conservatives who voted for it — are demanding that leadership do more in the appropriations package to block Obama's order.
"Instead of the Yoho bill, I think it would be a lot cheaper and cost effective and quicker to just send the president a Hallmark card," said Rep. Paul Gosar, who voted against the bill. "Everybody knows it's going to end up in Harry Reid's drawer anyway. It's just one more symbolic gesture.
That sentiment is causing problems for final passage of the spending bill, which funds the entire government for the remainder of the fiscal year with the notable exception of the Department of Homeland Security, which would only be funded for a few months so the GOP can stage another showdown with Obama over immigration next year. Republicans will more than likely have to rely on at least some Democratic votes to pass it. The bill is expected to come to the floor next week.
Daniel Newhauser is a staff correspondent for National Journal, where he primarily covers the House of Representatives. He was formerly a House leadership reporter for Roll Call, where he started as an intern in 2010 and quickly earned a slot as a beat reporter.
A native of San Antonio, Texas, Newhauser traveled further West to study journalism at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and write for newspapers including the East Valley Tribune and the Green Valley News & Sun.