By Brendan Kirby
on December 12, 2014 at 5:00 AM, updated December 12, 2014 at 8:07 AM

A large chunk of the most conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives - including two from Alabama - revolted Thursday against a budget deal that narrowly cleared the chamber.

Sixty-seven Republicans cast "no" votes, complaining that the $1.1 trillion spending plan failed to take on President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration or make any attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, was not one of them.

It was just such an issue that divided the Republican electorate in the southwest Alabama's 1st Congressional District during last year's special election to fill the unexpired term of then-Rep. Jo Bonner. Byrne in the GOP primary runoff narrowly fended off a fierce bid from conservative activist Dean Young, who contended that his opponent would not be strong enough standing up to wasteful budget deal.

Young made clear that he would have no qualms about shutting down the government.

But Byrne cast the vote as "good news" for southwest Alabama because of funding for military ships at Mobile's Austal USA shipyard and measures to restrain domestic spending.

"The government funding bill approved in the House of Representatives today includes some good news for families and businesses in southwest Alabama," he said in a prepared statement. "From fully funding three littoral combat ships to easing a burdensome regulation on our local farmers, there are many positive reforms included in this bill. Additionally, the bill includes no new funding for Obamacare, slashes the budgets of the EPA and IRS and includes strong 2nd Amendment and pro-life policies."

Locally, the bill means three new LCS vessels, plus $80 million in advance purchase of materials for a ship in fiscal year 2016. It also funds for an additional Joint High Speed Vessel, also built by Austal. It boosts funding for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, which can be used to improve the Port of Mobile. And it makes clear that the federal government cannot apply proposed water regulations to ponds and irrigation ditches.

Byrne said he shares the goals of Republicans who voted against the budget deal to protest Obarma's executive action preventing deportation of up to 5 million people who came to the United States illegally. He gave a speech on the House floor last week on the issue.

But he said there are more effective ways to make that case.

He noted that the bill funds most government agencies through September 2015 but the Department of Homeland Security only through Feb. 27. That will give Congress - after the GOP assumes control of the Senate - a chance to revisit the immigration issue at a stronger position.

"I have been perfectly clear about the harmful impact President Obama's executive action on immigration will have on our country, and I am committed to fighting it tooth and nail," he stated. "That said, until Republicans take control of the Senate in January, any piece of legislation must be able to get through Harry Reid's Democrat controlled Senate."

Byrne also noted that 139 Democrats -- including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi -- voted against the bill. That is a role reversal from previous budget fights in which House Republican leaders primarily have had to rely on Democratic votes to approve spending bills.

Byrne touted a number of other provisions, including:

A $60 million cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, which would be a fifth consecutive reduction dating to fiscal year 2010, and a decrease in 2,000 positions in the agency. That would reduce it to 1989 levels.

A $345.6 billion reduction in the budget of the Internal Revenue Service. That is about $1.5 billion less than what Obama had requested and below the level in fiscal year 2008.

A ban on IRS targeting organizations based on their ideological beliefs. A number of tea party groups have complained that they were unfairly targeted for scrutiny by IRS agents reviewing their nonprofit status.

Preventing the National Labor Relations Board from bypassing elections to certify proposed unions when a majority of workers at a company have signed unionization petitions.

Eliminating funding for high-speed rail projects.