House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) told the GOP conference that they needed to pass a clean Department of Homeland Security funding bill because Senate Republicans “never found a way to win this fight” and because some House conservatives killed a three-week DHS funding measure last week.
“I am as outraged and frustrated as you at the lawless and unconstitutional actions of this president,” Boehner told House Republicans during a conference meeting Tuesday morning, according to a source in the room. “I believe this decision – considering where we are – is the right one for this team, and the right one for this country. The good news is that the president’s executive action has been stopped, for now. This matter will continue to be litigated in the courts, where we have our best chance of winning this fight.”
Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), one of the leading immigration hawks in Congress, suggested that such a tactic amounts to “ceding our status as a coequal branch, on the hope the Judiciary intervenes to restore some fraction of that lost authority.”
“When it comes to defending our sovereignty there is no ‘moving on,’” Sessions said Tuesday.
Boehner explained his dependence on the courts by noting that Senate Republicans couldn’t break a Democratic filibuster of the House-passed DHS funding bill, which denied funding for the implementation of Obama’s executive amnesty orders.
“As you’ve heard me say a number of times, the House has done its job by passing legislation to fund DHS and block the president’s executive actions on immigration,” he reminded the conference. “Unfortunately, the fight was never won in the other chamber. Democrats stayed united and blocked our bill, and our Republican colleagues in the Senate never found a way to win this fight. The three-week CR we offered would have kept this fight going and allowed us to continue to put pressure on Senate Democrats to do the right thing. Unfortunately, that plan was rejected.”