Republican leaders in the House of Representatives and Senate are differing on how to fund the Department of Homeland Security as deadlines loom before the department would shut down.
House Speaker John Boehner said in an interview on Feb. 15 that he is “certainly” willing to let funding for the DHS to expire, based on his Republican colleagues’ desires to see President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration be stopped. Republicans in the House want to tie the agency’s funding to the dismantling of the president’s executive action.
Boehner took a shot at Senate Republicans saying, “The House has done its job under the Constitution. It’s time for the Senate to do their job.”
While the House has already passed a bill funding the DHS and reversing the actions on immigration, it has no chance of passing in the Senate, even with a Republican majority, due to Democrats objecting to Republicans' immigration issue.
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Sen. John McCain said on Feb. 15, “There are ways we can address what the president, did (which) was unconstitutional, but it’s not through shutting down the Department of Homeland Security.”
Boehner also attacked Senate Democrats for their strict opposition to the removal of the executive action on immigration.
“Senate Democrats are the ones standing in the way, they’re the ones jeopardizing funding, why don’t they get on the bill or offer an amendment, offer their ideas,” said Boehner.
Responding to Boehner on Feb. 15, Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, said, “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.”
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Schumer seemed to be accurate in his assessment, as fellow Republican Sen. Bob Corker said, “I’ll be the first to say when we have a department whose mission is to protect the homeland especially in these times, we need to fund it.”
Corker’s statement is referring to the increasing threat of terrorist groups overseas, such as Islamic State group, which continue to gruesomely murder civilians. There have also been numerous attacks elsewhere in the world — shootings in Paris in January, and a foiled plot in Canada and another shooting in Denmark this month, all of which were perpetrated by terrorist groups.