Politics

DHS Funding Issues May Lead To John Boehner Coup

| by Ethan Brown
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There is momentum by conservatives in the U.S. House of Representatives to oust John Boehner (R-Ohio) from his powerful role as Speaker, due to Boehner’s position on President Obama’s executive action on immigration.

Despite not having a majority of House Republicans in favor to vote the Speaker out, the conservatives in favor of the plan believe the minority is growing, and could soon wield enough influence over other Republicans to remove Boehner.

The animosity is over the President’s executive action on immigration and the funding of the Department of Homeland Security; Boehner’s House has previously voted in favor of funding the Department, but their bill would eliminate the President’s executive action, while the Senate, headed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has stated that they do not have the votes to prevent a filibuster from the Democrats, the current minority in the Senate, and will not proceed with legislation that stops Obama’s action.

House conservatives vehemently oppose the immigration action, calling it unlawful and illegal for not going through Congress first.  Those opposed may have been proved right, as a Texas judge recently halted the action based on it being unconstitutional.

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While those opposed to the executive action are pushing Boehner to stand his ground, the Speaker’s closest aides have advised him that not funding the Department in a time of national crises would cast a negative light nationally on the Republican Party.

This is not the first attempt at ending Boehner’s speakership.  During the 2014 lame duck session -- the time period where political parties begin changing from the minority to majority and vice versa -- House Republicans affiliated with the Tea Party movement began a plan to elect a new speaker for the 2015 legislation session.  At the time, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) was one of Boehner’s harshest critics.

“We need a Speaker who will help us all keep our oath, including his own, to the Constitution, not one who has consistently blocked our efforts to keep ours,” said the congressman.

Rep. King was echoing many other Republicans’ concerns, in that Boehner had not been strict enough against Obama’s health care law and, most recently, his executive action on immigration.  Once again, that seems to be fueling the proposition to remove Boehner from the position he’s held since January 2011.  Now, Boehner’s political life hangs in the balance of whether he decides to bring the “clean” bill, or the DHS funding without removing Obama’s executive action, back to the House for a vote.  Rep. John Fleming (R-Louisiana) issued a stern warning to the Speaker if that occurs.

“Our base would be extremely angry.  So this is very, very delicate territory for our leadership,” Fleming said.

Congress has until Feb. 27 to fund the Department of Homeland Security or it will shut down, save for necessary personnel.

Sources: Washington Post, CNN, The Hill

Photo Credit: Adam Kiefaber/Flickr, WikiCommons