Speaker John A. Boehner maintained Thursday that his chamber need not — and would not — take any further action to fund the Department of Homeland Security, reiterating the House has done its job and calling for Democrats to allow the Senate to consider the House-passed bill.
The Ohio Republican's resistance to putting forth another proposal just days before the DHS runs out of money further clouds the outcome for how Congress will avoid a shutdown of the critical agency on Feb. 27. The outlook is especially murky, given Senate Republican leaders' insistence that, after three failed attempts to surmount a procedural motion to bring up the House's DHS spending bill, it's time for Boehner and members of his leadership team to put forth a "plan b."
Boehner dismissed that scenario.
"Senate Democrats don't like our bill, but thanks to Senator McConnell, we can now offer amendments in the Senate, something they weren't able to do in the last Congress," he told reporters at his weekly news conference Thursday. "If funding for Homeland Security lapses, Washington Democrats are going to bear the responsibility."
Senate Democrats are filibustering consideration of the measure for its inclusion of language to block President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration.
Later in the news conference, Boehner began to use dry humor to deflect questions about what comes next.
"The House passed a bill, the Senate has to pass a bill," he said. "I want to get that little book out of the gift shop and you can all read it."
In regards to whether Boehner thought it would be disastrous of DHS shut down operations at the end of the month, he replied, "It would be bad. That's why the House passed a bill to fund the department."
And would the House consider a short-term continuing resolution to float DHS funding for another couple of months while both chambers and parties hashed out a solution?
"I'm going to start laughing," he relied. "The House has passed its bill."
Related: House Says, Senate Says: GOP Split on Next DHS Funding Move Boehner Refuses to Rule Out ‘Clean’ DHS Funding Bill Boehner’s Message to Senators: Time to Fight An Off-Ramp in Immigration Showdown The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.