Boehner: House ‘Has Done Its Job,’ Homeland Security Funding Up to Senate Democrats

House Speaker John Boehner said today that if funding for the Department of Homeland Security expires on Feb. 27, then the responsibility lies with Senate Democrats.

During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said he is “certainly” prepared to allow the agency to shut down because Senate Democrats “would be to blame.”

“The House has done their job under the Constitution,”  said Boehner. “It’s time for the Senate to do their job.”

The Homeland Security funding bill passed by the House on Jan. 14 also includes language undoing the president’s executive actions on immigration. Senate Democrats say they want a “clean” funding bill that doesn’t defund Obama’s orders.

Boehner defended combining the efforts to fund Homeland Security and to stop the president’s “overreach,” saying that “the House acted” because “Congress just can’t sit by and let the president defy the Constitution and defy his own oath of office.”

“The House has acted to fund the department, and to stop the president’s overreach when it comes to immigration and his executive orders,” said Boehner.

Boehner said Senate Democrats are “blocking the ability to even debate the bill.”

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters the House legislation was “stuck” in the Senate, unable to overcome the 60 votes needed to end a Democrat-led filibuster.

“I think it’s clearly stuck in the Senate, we can’t get on it, we can’t offer amendments to it,” said McConnell. “And the next step is obviously up to the House.”

Boehner said McConnell is “doing a great job as the new majority leader,” but insists that “the House has done its job” and acted to fund Homeland Security. The next move, he said, is up to the Senate.

“Senate Democrats are the ones standing in the way, they’re the ones jeopardizing funding,” said Boehner. “Why don’t they get on the bill and offer an amendment, offer their ideas, let’s see what the Senate can do.”

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told the Washington Post:

With only four legislative days left until the Republican Homeland Security Shutdown, Speaker Boehner made it clear that he has no plan to avoid a government shutdown that would threaten the safety of the American people. With every House Democrat now cosponsoring clean legislation to fund DHS, it is clear that the votes are present to pass a bill now if only Speaker Boehner would get out of the way.

Adam Jentleson, communications director for Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, tweeted:

Dan Holler, communications director at Heritage Action for America, the sister organization of The Heritage Foundation, questioned the priorities of Senate Democrats on blocking the House legislation.

“Republicans must stand firm and force Senate Democrats to answer one simple question: Why are they willing to deny Border Patrol agents paychecks to protect Obama’s plan to grant illegal immigrants Social Security numbers?” said Holler.

Boehner reiterated his position that Senate Democrats must make the decision to fund DHS on Twitter:

Here is how some lawmakers reacted to Boehner’s statement:

Source material can be found at this site.

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