House Republicans revived their bill on the US-Mexico border crisis in dramatic fashion today, passing it on a near party-line vote after winning over conservatives with tough new provisions that could threaten deportation for hundreds of thousands of immigrants already working in this country legally. President Barack Obama condemned the Republican action and said he'd act unilaterally, as best he could. A day after GOP leaders pulled the border bill from the floor in a chaotic retreat, tea party lawmakers were enthusiastically on board with the new $694 million version and a companion measure that would shut off a program created by Obama granting work permits to immigrants brought here illegally as kids.
The second bill also seemed designed to prevent the more than 700,000 people who've already gotten work permits under the program from renewing them, ultimately making them subject to deportation. The spending bill passed 223-189 late today, with only four Republicans voting "no" and one Democrat voting "yes." A vote on the second measure was expected later in the night. "It's dealing with the issue that the American people care about more than any other, and that is stopping the invasion of illegal foreign nationals into our country," said Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. "And we got to yes." But Obama said no: "They're not even trying to solve the problem," the president said. "I'm going to have to act alone, because we do not have enough resources." (Read more illegal immigration stories.)