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Boehner Blames Democrats For Scuffle Over Homeland Security Funding

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Thursday.
Molly Riley
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Thursday.

House Speaker John Boehner says he's prepared to let the Department of Homeland Security run out of money to push the Republican majority's efforts to reverse President Obama's immigration initiative.

"Senate Democrats are the ones standing in the way. They're the ones jeopardizing funding," Boehner told Fox News Sunday. Asked if he would allow funding for DHS to lapse, Boehner responded: "Certainly. The House has acted. We've done our job."

Senate Democrats have filibustered the $40 billion funding measure for DHS because it also includes a rollback of the president's executive action on immigration. Republicans don't have the necessary votes to pass the measure and override a promised presidential veto. The department runs out of cash on Feb. 27.

"The House has acted to fund the department and to stop the president's overreach when it comes to immigration and his executive orders," Boehner said. "The president said 22 times that he did not have the authority to do what he eventually did. And the Congress just can't sit by and let the president defy the Constitution and defy his own oath of office. And so the House acted. Now it's time for the Senate to act."

Even if the measure passes both houses, Obama has threatened to veto any DHS funding bill that also contains the immigration restrictions.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said his chamber is at an impasse and the next move would be up to Boehner.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
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