Congress passed a one-week continuing resolution to fund the Department of Homeland Security after House Democrats and a group of conservatives blocked passage of the three-week funding bill.
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) wants to create a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House-passed DHS funding bill that bars President Obama from implementing his executive orders on immigration and the Senate-passed bill, which contains no such stipulations. (Senate Democrats blocked debate on the House-passed bill in order to avoid voting on the immigration orders directly.)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) convinced Democrats to back the one-week funding measure by implying that Boehner had promised to put a clean DHS bill on the floor next week; Boehner’s office denies that claim.
Representative Gerry Connolly (D., Va.) criticized Pelosi’s backing of the one-week measure on the basis of such a presumed deal, describing it to National Journal as “an awfully thin reed on which to decide to vote for a one-week extension after you whipped Democrats to vote against a three-week extension.”
Some Boehner allies fear that he might lose his speakership if he brings up a clean DHS bill for a vote, but conservative backbenchers poured cold water on that idea.
“I’ve had my differences with the speaker at times both on tactics and policy,” Representative John Fleming (R., La.) told Politico. “But we elect each speaker for two years. There is no discussion or talk among conservatives to get him out.”
Representative Mike Simpson (R., Idaho) said that Boehner’s supporters would continue to back him even if a minority of Republicans deprived him of the votes necessary to win a support from a majority of the House.
“There’s enough of us that would say, ‘We’re not voting for anybody else,’” Simpson told National Journal. “If somehow you did something that made him step out and put up another candidate, we’re voting for Boehner and you’re never going to have votes.”
That tactic is analogous to the approach that the House conservatives who are frustrated with Boehner want him to pursue with respect to the DHS funding bill, which was blocked by the Democratic minority in the Senate.
“I hope we put back in the language that we had in the House bill and send it back to them,” Represenative Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), the chair of the House Freedom Caucus that provided most of the Republican opposition to the three-week continuing resolution, told National Review.