By Tony Perkins
It may be Valentine’s week, but there’s no love lost between House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Democrats. The President’s party, which for years has gotten away with holding a government shutdown over Republicans’ heads, may want to think twice about threatening it this time. After all of their hemming and hawing over the House’s Homeland Security bill, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and company won’t have the luxury of frightening off the GOP majority from its hard line on the President’s executive order on amnesty.
After kicking the debate into the new Congress, House leaders wasted no time passing a measure that would fund DHS — with the exception of any money that would finance the President’s decision to give millions of illegal immigrants permanent residency in the U.S. House and Senate Republicans are ready to play hardball on the bill — a reality that doesn’t seem to be sinking in with Senate Democrats.
With two weeks to go before the funding for Homeland Security runs out, Senate Democrats don’t seem any more inclined to clear the path for a vote. And if the government shuts down, Boehner says, it will be squarely on Reid’s party. “The House has done its job,” he told reporters. “I want you to ask the Senate Democrats when they’re gonna get off their (derrieres) and do something other than vote ‘no.’ …For Senate Democrats to simply block debate on the bill that funds many of their own priorities is as senseless and undemocratic as it is. If funding for Homeland Security lapses, Washington Democrats are gonna bear the responsibility.”
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Asked whether he’d consider a short-term continuing resolution, or CR, to fund the agency, Boehner said, “I’m gonna start laughing. The House has passed its bill… it’s real clear. It’s time for Senate Democrats to get into the game, get on the bill, and if they don’t like what they’ve done, they can amend it. Simple as that.” It was a strong signal from a stronger party, who may finally be finding their stride in the big shoes of the congressional majority.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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