February 15, 2015

John Boehner believes he's going to be able to pin the expiration of DHS benefits on Senate Democrats. He's lost the talking heads on Fox "news" and the editorial writers over at Uncle Rupert's The Wall Street Journal, so good luck with that.

As Nancy LeTourneau at The Washington Monthly noted in her post on the topic:

If the WSJ is right and the fate of the GOP majority is on the line, it’s past time for these two Congressional leaders to face up to yet another embarrassing political defeat and get something done.

I'm not holding my breath after listening to Boehner on Fox. He's got his own version of reality and he's sticking to it no matter how many times Chris Wallace actually tried to poke and prod him out of it.

WALLACE: Haven't you and House Republicans put the GOP in a box with funding for the Department of Homeland Security about to run out and you are demanding changes to the president's executive action on immigration that Senate Republicans say they can't pass?

BOEHNER: Chris, the Constitution makes it pretty clear that the House has to do its work and the Senate has to do theirs. The House has acted to fund the department and to stop the president's overreach when it comes to immigration and his executive orders.

Remember, Chris, the president said 22 times that he did not have the authority to do what he eventually did. And the Congress just can't sit by and let the president defy the Constitution and defy his own oath of office.

And so, the House acted. Now, it's time for the Senate to act.

WALLACE: But the Senate, sir, respectfully, can't act. They have 54 votes. They don't have 60 votes. Republicans used the filibuster. Democrats are using it now.

Senate Republican Leader McConnell says this.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL , R-K.Y., MAJORITY LEADER: It's clear we can't go forward in the Senate, unless you all heard something I haven't. The next move obviously is up to the House.


WALLACE: McConnell is saying the House has to pass something new they can actually get through the Senate.

BOEHNER: Senator McConnell's done a great job as the new majority leader. He's allowed over 20 amendments to the Keystone pipeline bill. This is not like the Senate that we've seen over last four years. The Senate Democrats are blocking the ability to even debate the bill. Senator McConnell's offered them the opportunity to offer amendments. It's their turn. That's the way the system works. That's the way the constitution spells it out.

So, the House has done its job. We've spoken. If the Senate doesn't like it, they'll have to produce something that fits their institution.

WALLACE: I understand there's two sides to the argument. Here's the bottom line: the deadline is less than two weeks from now. And the fact is that you and Congress are going to be out on recess for the next week.

Can you promise the American people with the terror threat only growing that you're not going to allow funding for the Department of Homeland Security to run out?

BOEHNER: The House has acted. We've done our job. Senate Democrats are the ones putting us in this precarious position. It's up to Senate Democrats to get their act together.

WALLACE: But -- I'll ask it again --

BOEHNER: Chris, Chris, one more time -- the House has done its job under the Constitution. It's time for the Senate to do their job.

Listen, I've got a tough job here. So does Senator McConnell. But Senate Democrats are the ones standing in the way; they're the ones jeopardizing funding. Why don't they get on the bill and offer amendment, offer their ideas? Let's see what the Senate can do.

WALLACE: And what if the Department of Homeland Security funding runs out?

BOEHNER: Well, then, Senate Democrats should to be blame. Very simply.

WALLACE: And you're prepared to let that happen?

BOEHNER: Certainly. The House has acted. We've done our job.

WALLACE: This speaks to a bigger issue. When Republicans took over Congress, you talked about you were going to show how to govern. And yet, we're more than a month in and the only major piece of legislation that the Republican Congress has passed and sent to the president is the Keystone pipeline legislation, which he's already said he's going to veto.

Even the conservative editorial page of "The Wall Street Journal" says this is no way to run a congressional majority.

BOEHNER: Chris, the president's already signed several bills into law. Just yesterday, he signed the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act that would help get more services to our veterans that we're losing at the rate of 22 a day.

The Keystone pipeline's been done.

The House has passed --

WALLACE: Well, you passed it but he's not going to sign it.

BOEHNER: Chris, the House has passed several dozen bills already. We're off to the fastest start of a Congress in the 25 years that I've been here.

Now, the Senate took 23 days to debate the Keystone pipeline, something we did in a couple hours here in the House. The House can move. The Senate is a much slower body.

But we're off to a good start. We've passed the 40-hour workweek requirement in Obamacare, so that people aren't getting their hours cut. We passed the Hire More Veterans Act out of the House to make it easier for small businesses to hire veterans.

How about making it easier to export liquid natural gas overseas to our allies who are --


WALLACE: I understand all that, but it's not getting through the Senate.

BOEHNER: I'm the Speaker of the House, thank you.

Can you help us out?

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