(Reuters) – John Boehner, the Republican House of Representatives speaker, said he is willing to let funding for the Department of Homeland Security lapse as part of a Republican push to roll back President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
With a Feb. 27 deadline looming for funding the department, Senate Democrats three times this month blocked consideration of the Homeland Security appropriations bill, which has already been approved by the House.
“Senate Democrats are the ones standing in the way. They’re the ones jeopardizing funding,” Boehner told Fox News on Sunday. Asked if he was prepared to let financing for the department lapse, he said: “Certainly. The House has acted. We’ve done our job.”
Arizona Senator John McCain, a leading Republican voice on national security matters, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” of his alarm at the situation.
“The American people did not give us majority to have a fight between House and Senate Republicans,” McCain said, referring to Republicans taking control of both the House and Senate after November’s congressional elections. “They want things done. You cannot cut funding from the Department of Homeland Security. We need to sit down and work this thing out.”
Democrats want to fund the department but oppose House amendments stripping funding from Obama’s 2012 and 2014 executive orders lifting a deportation threat for millions of illegal immigrants.