The widespread disagreement in Congress over President Obama’s unilateral actions on immigration that nearly resulted in a partial shutdown of the Homeland Security Department resumes Monday — with Democrats, Republicans, senators and congressmen all pointing fingers.
Last Friday congress passed funding for the DHS for one week.
Although the GOP-led chamber failed to pass a three-week extension and had to rely on Democrats to reach the final, shorter deal, they blame President Obama and Senate Democrats for putting them in the bind. Demonrats in both chambers largely oppose legislation in the GOP-controlled Congress that connects funding the agency through the fiscal year with attempts to roll back Obama’s executive action that defers deportation for millions of illegal immigrants.
House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise told “Fox News Sunday” that the House passed the 7-day funding bill to “keep the fight going” and force Senate Democrats to negotiate in conference with House leaders on a bill.
“Senate Democrats won’t go to conference,” the Louisiana Republican said. “And anybody who disagrees with the president’s illegal action should light up the Senate switchboard and make Senate Democrats feel the heat.”
On Sunday Boehner, said that the House wants to enter talks with the Senate on a final bill and pointed to Monday’s scheduled Senate vote. Senate Democrats have so far blocked a final vote on the House legislation over the immigration provision.
“We want to get a conference with the Senate,” Boehner said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “Now, they’ve made clear that they don’t want to go to conference. But they’re going to have a vote.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Fox News’ “America’s News Headquarters” that Republicans are going to destroy their “last best chance … to convince the country that we are capable of running the country.
“We’re about to make mistakes of a lifetime if we don’t understand reality when it comes to DHS funding,” he continued.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., agreed to a one-week extension and told her Democratic rank and file in a letter to back the seven-day patch because, “Your vote will assure that we will vote for full funding next week.”
However Steve Scalise the No. 3 House Republican, said: “There was no such deal. There was no such bill.”
But privately, a senior Democratic congressional aide said Boehner spoke to Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and committed to bringing up a bill without conditions. The person spoke anonymously to relate a private conversation.
Meanwhile a spokesman for Reid said Sunday there will be no negotiations with the House over Homeland Security funding and immigration. Senate Democrats are expected to block any plans for formal talks in Monday night’s vote.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said she doesn’t envision Senate Democrats budging.
“We want a clean bill,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union.” I see nothing else happening, other than a clean bill.”