House lawmakers voted for a resolution Wednesday that supports Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials and explicitly condemns Democrats’ calls to abolish the agency.
Members voted 244-35-133 Wednesday afternoon in favor of a resolution GOP Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana sponsored that both decries Democrats’ push to do away with ICE and calls for congressional support for the agency and its officials. Republicans brought the measure to the floor under an expedited procedure, known as suspension of the rules, which allowed the chamber to pass it with a two-third majority.
The majority of House Democrats — 133 — voted “present,” with the remainder split. Eighteen Democrats voted in favor the bill and 34 voted against it. One Republican, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, voted with Democrats against the bill.
Democrats voted “present” in protest of what they deemed a political stunt on the part of Republicans, who they claim have spent months failing to address the nation’s immigration problems, like the separation of children from their parents that immigrated to the U.S. illegally.
“McCarthy’s strategy to put Dems on record broke the back of the Democrat Party,” a GOP source told The Daily Caller News Foundation Wednesday shortly after the vote.
The vote Wednesday came after a week of back and forth from Republican leadership, who were considering putting forth another bill from Progressive Caucus co-chairman Mark Pocan and caucus members Democratic Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Adriano Espaillat of New York that would abolish ICE.
Republican leadership’s original thinking in taking up the Democrats’ abolish ICE bill was to force their hands on the floor and get them on record voting against supporting ICE.
If Democrats voted for the bill, Republicans could use that in the November midterm elections, roasting them for being “open borders.” The other line of thinking was that some Democrats would vote against it, as many hinted they would do last week, and that would both cause a schism in the Democratic conference and make Republicans look weak.