House Speaker John Boehner blamed Senate Democrats on Wednesday for the stalled funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security and asked reporters, “Why don’t you go ask the Senate Democrats when they are going to get off their ass and do something?”
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters the House GOP bill was “stuck” and it was up to the House to take the next move.
But Boehner made it clear at a closed-door meeting with rank-and-file members, and afterward in a press conference – the House-passed bill that attached provisions to stop the President’s executive actions on immigration was the only House action on this matter. He insisted his strategy was working “exactly” as he planned.
After the meeting, he told reporters, “Now in the gift shop out here they’ve got these little booklets on how a bill becomes a law. The House has done its job. Why don’t you go ask the Senate Democrats when they are going to get off their ass and do something – other than to vote no?”
According to several House Republicans who attended the meeting, there was no discussion of any back-up plan to avoid a potential shutdown of DHS, and no talk of taking up any short-term extension to fund the agency while the fight continued over immigration.
Pressed about McConnell’s suggestion that it was up to him to act, Boehner replied, “I love Mitch. He has a tough job to do and so do I.”
A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid again put the blame back on the House GOP for not passing a “clean Homeland Security funding bill.”
“We know Speaker Boehner is frustrated, but cursing is not going to resolve the squabbling among Republicans that led to this impasse. Democrats have been clear from day one about the way out of this mess: take up the clean Homeland Security funding bill which Republicans signed off on in December – and which is ready to come to the Senate floor – pass it, and move on,” Adam Jentleson said in a statement.