Friday, June 15, 2007

"Surprise" Vote in House of Representatives: This morning, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to a funding bill for Homeland Security (H.R. 2638) proposed by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Co) that would deny federal emergency services funding for "sanctuary cities"--cities which refuse to cooperate with the enforcement a variety of immigration laws. The Tancredo amendment passed 234-189. This amendment divided both parties, though it fractured Democrats more than Republicans: while 180 Republicans voted in favor of the amendment (with 9 voting against it), the Democrats split 49 for and 180 against. See also this Rocky Mountain News story, which labels the amendment's victory a "surprise" and has a roundup of reactions to it. According to the story, this is the first amendment denying funding to "sanctuary cities" that Tancredo has proposed and the House has agreed to. Interesting paragraphs at end:

Tancredo said he thinks his amendment is an indicator that the House would crush the reform plan if it passes in the Senate.

"If I were (Speaker of the House) Nancy Pelosi, I'd be asking if she could pass a vote on amnesty on the House side," Tancredo said. "If she lost 50 Democrats on this one, and she says she needs 70 Republicans to pass the immigration plan, this is an interesting indicator of things coming down the pike, and that the times, they are a-changing."

UPDATE: Will President Bush veto this bill? See this story. Lead paragraphs:

The House passed a $37.4 billion fiscal 2008 Homeland Security spending bill Friday on a 268-150 vote in the face of a White House veto threat over its price tag that is $2.1 billion above President Bush's request.

Forty-five Republicans crossed the aisle to support the bill but not enough to override a veto if Bush follows through on his threat.

Could the passage of this amendment be a way of putting some pressure on the president--to rally enough Republicans to the bill to defend it?