Boehner: Senate Dems should 'get off their ass' on Homeland Security bill

Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbying World 'Ready for Michelle' PACs urge 2020 run News Flash: Trump was never going to lock Clinton up MORE (R-Ohio) offered a blunt message for Senate Democrats in the standoff over Homeland Security funding, urging them to “get off their ass” and pass a bill.

The Speaker’s rare flash of anger came Wednesday, as he blamed Democrats for repeatedly blocking a House-passed bill that would both stave off a Department of Homeland Security shutdown at the end of the month and gut President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

Democrats are unified in their efforts to preserve Obama’s immigration actions, which shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

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“We won the fight to fund the Department of Homeland Security and to stop the president’s unconstitutional actions. Now it’s time for the Senate to do their work,” Boehner told reporters after a closed-door GOP caucus meeting.

“The House has done its job. Why don’t you go ask the Senate Democrats when they’re going to get off their ass and do something other than to vote ‘no.’ ”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellDriverless car industry embraces Trump’s Transportation pick Trump flirts with Dems for Cabinet Lawmakers eye early exit from Washington MORE (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that the upper chamber has done all it can do and that it’s now time for the House to send over another funding bill that can pass through the Senate. Funding for the DHS runs out on Feb. 27.

But inside the meeting, Boehner and other GOP leaders told their members they were staying the course and would not cave to Democratic demands for a so-called “clean” bill, free of the GOP riders targeting Obama’s immigration moves.

“The issue here is not Senate Republicans. It’s Senate Democrats,” Boehner said.

Asked about McConnell’s suggestion the House should now act, Boehner replied: “I love Mitch.”

“He has a tough job to do, and so do I.”

A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) again called on House Republicans to take up a clean funding bill, saying Boehner's "cursing is not going to resolve the squabbling among Republicans."

"Neither Speaker Boehner nor Senator McConnell appears willing to do the right thing and stand up to the extremists in their caucus like Senator Ted Cruz who have led us here," Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson said. 

“The Republican Congress is a mess, pure and simple. Democrats are happy to help our Republican colleagues resolve their problems but the first step is for Republican leaders to do the right thing and pass a clean bill to fund Homeland Security.”
 
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday that Republicans "painted themselves into a corner" and were discovering it was not "particularly smart" to attempt to tie funding to the spending measure.

"I do think that it raises questions about whether or not Republicans are prepared to assume the responsibility that the American people have given them to run the United States Congress," Earnest said.

 
 
This story was updated at 2:52 p.m. Justin Sink contributed.