The House will reconvene Monday with little sense of how the dynamics will play out in the quest to fund the Department of Homeland Security through the end of the fiscal year, but Speaker John A. Boehner said he intends to follow "regular order."
In an interview on "Face the Nation" Sunday, the Ohio Republican was asked what promise he made Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that secured enough votes from House Democrats Friday night to pass a one-week extension of DHS funding, just hours before the agency was due to shutter.
Boehner chose his words carefully: "The promise I made to Ms. Pelosi is the same promise I made to Republicans, that we would follow regular order." He said, "We want to go to conference with the Senate. Now, they've made clear that they don't want to go to conference. But they're going to have a vote, and if they vote in fact not to go to conference, this bill might be coming back here to the House."
Though it was not addressed during the interview, it is in following so-called "regular order" that Boehner could find a way out of the DHS funding mess, without getting blamed by his far-right flank for caving on legislation that doesn't bar President Barack Obama from implementing his executive actions on immigration.
As CQ Roll Call reported , there is a provision tucked deep inside the House rule book that would allow any House Democrat to force a vote on a "clean" DHS funding bill, like the six-month measure passed by the Senate.
Also Sunday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told NBC's "Meet the Press" he would favor changing a Senate rule governing the number of votes needed to overcome a filibuster, using what's known as the nuclear option.
The California Republican pointed to legislation introduced by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to block Obama's executive actions on immigration as one example of a bill that could advance if not for the 60-vote requirement.
"I don't think going nuclear — when you have 57 percent of the Senate [who] voted for the Collins amendment that would take away the president's action," McCarthy said. "That's not nuclear when 57 percent of the American representation says it's wrong."
He added, "That's not in the Constitution. I think they should change the rule."
Niels Lesniewski and Matt Fuller contributed to this report. Related: How an Obscure Rule Could Give Boehner a Way Out of DHS Mess 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.