Boehner Challenges Senate Democrats

WASHINGTON (TNS/AP) -

GOP House leaders emerged from a Republican Conference meeting Wednesday with a persistent refrain on Department of Homeland Security funding: The House has done its job; it’s time for the Senate to act.

During their weekly Republican leadership press conference, Speaker John Boehner repeatedly called on the Senate to take up the House-passed DHS funding bill, which Senate Democrats have repeatedly blocked the chamber from considering.

“You know, in the gift shop out here, they’ve got these little booklets on how a bill becomes a law,” a fired-up Boehner said, as camera shutters clicked away. “The House has done its job! Why don’t you go ask the Senate Democrats when they’re going to … do something?!”

His comments seemed unlikely to change Senate Democrats’ behavior. But they underscored a worsening stalemate on Capitol Hill with funding for the Homeland Security Department set to expire Feb. 27. A day earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared the Senate “stuck” on the issue and said the next move was in the House’s court.

It’s not clear how the impasse will be resolved since Republicans in both chambers insist they have no plans for further action. The likeliest outcome may be a short-term extension of current funding levels for the Department of Homeland Security, something agency leaders say would jeopardize their ability to make needed changes at the Secret Service, Border Patrol and other agencies.