The Corner

Boehner to House GOP: Let’s Reject Senate DHS Cave

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) doesn’t plan to accept the DHS funding bill that the Senate is passing, which does not block funding for implementation of President Obama’s executive amnesty.

Boehner “wants to go to conference” with the Senate bill, a GOP lawmaker texts National Review from a special House Republican conference meeting. To buy time for the conference, Boehner also proposed passing a continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security that would continue until mid March.

Basically, Boehner is proposing that they follow regular order by objecting to the Senate amendment to the House-passed DHS funding bill and requesting a conference committee to iron out differences. It could put Democrats in a dicey position. If the conference committee struck a compromise position such as the one that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) had favored — that is: legislation blocking just the 2014 orders, rather than the DACA program as well — Senate Democrats would not be able to prevent that bill, the conference committee report, from being debated, although they could try to filibuster a vote on final passage. The bill would not be amendable. 

That might put increased pressure on the seven Senate Democrats who claim to oppose Obama’s most recent 2014 orders. Certainly, Senate Democrats worry about the prospect of having a vote on such a bill, to judge from their decision to filibuster the House-passed DHS funding bill rather than allow it to be amended. Democrats also objected when Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) offered to take up the bill and have the first amendment on the bill be a measure that would strip out the ban on implementing the 2012 orders. To avoid that, Democrats might try to block another short-term continuing resolution, but they risk taking the blame for the resulting lapse in DHS funding.

Boehner’s plan comes as House Republicans are “genuinely angry” about McConnell’s decision to pass a clean DHS funding bill in response to the Democratic filibusters, with many conservative members pushing for the House to put their original language back into the appropriations bill.

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