Speaker Boehner refused to answer directly whether he believes the Department of Homeland Security would shut down when pressed repeatedly by reporters. The media kept pressing Boehner on his promise that Homeland Security would not shut down. The result was a busted Speaker who was caught in a lie.
Reporter. You said at one point – a few weeks ago – that the Homeland Security Department would not shut down. You offered your assurances that that would not happen. Can you still offer those assurances today? Or is that a possibility?
Speaker Boehner. The House has done its job. We’ve passed a bill…it’s up to the Senate…
Reporter. So is it possible that it’ll shut down?
Speaker Boehner. The House Republicans have passed a bill. We’ve done our job. I can get that little booklet out of the shop and you can read it. Alright? The House passes a bill. The Senate passes a bill. The Senate has to pass a bill. Senate Democrats are blocking debate on the bill.
Reporter. Is is problematic if Homeland Security personnel aren’t paid and are putting their lives on the line to protect people like you and President Obama?
Speaker Boehner. Well, it would be bad. That’s the House passed a bill to fund the department.
Reporter. So are you okay with funding lapsing? There’s a lot of people in your caucus who say it’s okay because there’s essential personnel.
Speaker Boehner. No. We did our job to fund the department. Now it is up to Senate Democrats to do what they have to do, and that’s to help pass a bill.
Reporter. Why does this immigration language have to be a part of the DHS funding bill? If Republicans believe that on principle they also have Democrats who agree them, why not heed the calls of these Democrats and have that as a separate debate?
Speaker Boehner. They can offer amendments in the Senate if they get on the bill. They can make the changes. Their body can do whatever their body has to do. The House has done its job. We’ve spoken, and now it’s up to the Senate to do their job, and we can meet in conference and work out the differences.
The media was all over Boehner, and they asked a very simple question that the Speaker wouldn’t answer. If Boehner believes that Homeland Security funding is so important, why doesn’t he take the immigration language out of the House bill?
John Boehner lied when he promised that Homeland Security would not shut down because not he is trying to provoke a shutdown by refusing to change the language in the House bill. Republicans are trying to blame Democrats for their decision to insert an unrelated issue into the bill.
Boehner and the House thought that they could strong arm Democrats into voting to overturn President Obama’s immigration executive orders. Judging from the media’s line of questioning, no one outside of the Republican Party is buying Speaker Boehner’s blame the Senate Democrats excuses.
If Homeland Security shuts down, Republicans will be blamed, and even the usual Republican-friendly media isn’t helping John Boehner with this one.