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Congress fully funds Homeland Security

The 8,900 U.S. Border Patrol agents stationed on Texas’ border with Mexico can clock in next week knowing they’re still going to get paid after Congress Tuesday voted to fund the Department of Homeland Security through September.

The change of course by the U.S. House came four days after a tumultuous last-minute compromise in which members agreed to fund the agency for only one week to allow Republicans another shot at blocking President Obama’s executive order on immigration.

But after mounting pressure from agency officials and some House Republicans, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, agreed to let members vote on a U.S. Senate bill that funds the department through the end of the fiscal year without addressing the immigration order. The "clean" funding measure passed 257 to 167.

The lower chamber had previously passed a DHS funding bill tat included measures blocking Obama's immigration order. The Senate refused to bring that bill up however, which set up the stalemate.

Tuesday’s vote means the fate of the president’s executive order on immigration - which would shield about 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation - will be determined by the federal courts. Last month a Brownsville-based U.S. district judge temporarily halted the immigration action, which the president announced in November.

Texas was the first state to file suit and 25 others eventually signed on. The White House has asked the judge to halt his own injunction until the process plays out before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The deadline for Texas and the other plaintiffs to respond to the Obama administration’s request is Tuesday.

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Julian Aguilar/Texas Tribune

U.S. Border Patrol agents patrolling in the Rio Grande Valley.