Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times, February 16, 2015
The House speaker, John A. Boehner, said Sunday that he was “certainly” prepared to allow funding for the Department of Homeland Security to lapse, raising the possibility that one of the government’s largest and most vital agencies could be shut down at the end of the month.
“The House has done its job; we’ve spoken,” Mr. Boehner said on “Fox News Sunday.” “If the Senate doesn’t like it, they’ll have to produce something that fits their institution.”
Pressed on whether he would, in effect, allow the department to shut down if the Senate does not come up with a funding bill of its own, the speaker said: “Certainly. The House has acted.”
In dispute is how to handle the issue of immigration. Last month, House Republicans passed a spending plan for the 240,000-employee department that included provisions to gut President Obama’s immigration policy. The bill would revoke legal protections for millions of unauthorized immigrants, including children, and put them at risk of deportation.
The House measure stands no chance of becoming law. Senate Democrats have filibustered it; Mr. Obama has said he would veto it; and even some Senate Republicans, including John McCain of Arizona, have questioned the wisdom of the House’s unyielding position, raising doubts that the bill would get even 51 Republican votes in the Senate.
Lawmakers are gone from Washington until next week, meaning that they have just four days in the Capitol in which to reach a deal before the department’s funding runs out on Feb. 27.