Boehner ‘certainly’ prepared to let DHS funding expire

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Sunday that he is “certainly” willing to let federal funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expire this month if a congressional standoff that is threatening the agency’s appropriation continues.

{mosads}The department’s funding has become embroiled in a fight over federal immigration policy as staunch conservatives in the Republican-led House have pushed to tie the agency’s appropriations bill to at attempt to undo President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

Asking by “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace on Sunday if he is willing to let DHS shut down over the immigration fight, Boehner replied, “Certainly.

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

DHS funding was left out of a broader appropriations measure that was approved in December because conservatives were hoping to use the DHS deadline to extract concessions from Obama on immigration. DHS, which includes the Transportation Security Administration, will partially shut down and stop paying thousands of employees on Feb. 28 unless Congress agrees on a way to fund it.

Senate Republicans have argued that they are being put in a bind by their counterparts in the House because they do not have a filibuster-proof majority in the upper chamber.

Boehner moved Sunday to shift blame for a potential DHS shutdown to Democrats in the Senate, who are standing firm against GOP efforts to undo Obama’s immigration executive action.

“Senate Democrats are the ones putting us in this precarious position,” he said. “It’s up to Senate Democrats to get their act together.”

Senate Democrats rejected Boehner’s claim after the Sunday interview.

“When Speaker Boehner tied immigration to DHS funding he knew exactly what he was doing; saying unless I get my way, I’m going to shut down a large part of the government,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. “To now blame Democrats when members of his own party, conservative leaders and others have all asked him to back off this game of chicken is disingenuous at best.”

“There is only one thing that’s certain – if Speaker Boehner persists in following Ted Cruz on this path just has he did in 2013, he will be responsible for shutting down a large part of the government, the American people will perceive it that way, and his party and the country will suffer for it.”

Tags Boehner Chuck Schumer Immigration John Boehner Sunday shows Ted Cruz
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