Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stopped short Thursday of saying she wouldn't vote for a stop-gap spending bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security if Democrats and Republicans can't reach an agreement for long-term funding in the next two weeks.
But the California Democrat, in her weekly news conference, slammed the GOP for bringing the critical agency to the brink of a shutdown when its funding expires at the end of the month.
"Two months — that's not a solution," said Pelosi, responding to questions about whether a two-month continuation of existing DHS funding was in order, given Republicans' resistance to remove provisions in their proposed spending bill to block President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration.
A short-term continuing resolution, or CR, would just prolong the fight, Pelosi suggested, plus prevent the DHS from operating efficiently and effectively.
"A two-month CR is not an end," she said. "A two-month CR is the continuation of uncertainty ... That's not an endgame."
She said, "the president has the right to do what he has done by executive action. He has the right by law, by legal authority, as well as by precedent of other presidents ... You'll have to ask [Republicans] how they're going to face up to their responsibilities."
Pelosi's comments come just two days before Congress is set to recess for the Presidents Day holiday next week, and as Republican leadership in the House and Senate are divided on whose court holds the ball.
Senate Republicans have tried three times, unsuccessfully, to surmount a procedural hurdle to even bring up the House-passed DHS bill to the floor. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his allies have said that means it time for the House to come up with a new plan, while Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and his top lieutenants say they don't intend to make another move until the Senate acts.