The House late Wednesday voted to block federal transportation and housing funding from cities and states that choose not to cooperate with federal officials on immigration.
Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., brought up his language as an amendment to a minibus spending bill and proposed attaching it to part of the bill that deals with transportation and housing funding. It was the latest Republican attack on so-called sanctuary cities, which reject federal demands to cooperate when it comes to detaining and tracking illegal immigrants.
"It just requires that funds in Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funds only go to cities and states that uphold federal law," Smith said in late Wednesday debate.
According to a summary of his proposal, it would prevent any funds from being directed to any local government that blocks "any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual."
Rep. David Price, D-N.C., opposed the language in a brief debate, and said it would "tear communities apart across the country."
But Republicans won the day, and the amendment was approved in an 225-195 vote.
The fate of the language is uncertain, however. Instead of passing specific spending bills, Congress is instead expected to approve a continuing resolution through mid-December. Only then are lawmakers expected to take a closer look at spending as they get ready to pass a complete package of spending bills for the rest of fiscal year 2018.