House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday he’s “certainly” willing to allow counter-terrorism funding to run out at the end of the month if the Senate won’t take up a House bill blocking President Obama’s immigration policies.
“The House has acted. We’ve done our job. Senate Democrats are the ones putting us in this precarious position. It’s up to Senate Democrats to get their act together,” Boehner said on Fox News Sunday.
If Congress doesn’t authorize funding for the Department of Homeland Security by Feb. 28, Boehner said, “Senate Democrats should be to blame, very simply.”
The House has passed a Homeland Security funding bill through the end of the fiscal year in September, but it contains what Democrats consider a poison pill: A provision blocking funding for President Obama’s executive actions delaying deportation for about 5 million undocumented immigrants.
President Obama has threatened to veto the House bill if it gets to his desk. But that seems unlikely anyway, since Senate Republicans don’t have the 60 votes necessary to prevent a Democratic filibuster.
“I don’t see exactly how Congress is going to resolve this,” White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough said on CBS’s Face the Nation.
Because DHS employees do critical law enforcement work, sending them home isn’t an option, McDonough said.
“Congress will continue to get paid, but law enforcement officials associated with defending our borders, protecting us against cyberattacks, defending our airports and making sure that airlines and aviation security is upheld are forced to work without pay,” he said. “That is something we should not do.”