Senate Democrats Block Boehner’s Last Chance At Escaping His Homeland Security Crisis

Harry Reid, Tim Kaine, Mazie Hirono, Elizabeth Warren, Angus King

Senate Democrats blocked the motion to negotiate with the House on the Homeland Security funding bill that means that John Boehner is both out of options and quickly running out of time on his Homeland Security crisis.

The final vote 47-43. Republicans were 13 votes short of the number needed to move forward.

Before the vote Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told House Republicans that Democrats weren’t going to take part in Boehner’s charade:

Senate Democrats do not support going to conference because it will be counterproductive. Republicans have no intention of using a conference to craft legislation that will pass both Houses of Congress and prevent a shutdown of Homeland Security. House Republicans want to take a bill that they negotiated, a bill that was written by House and Senate Republicans and Democrats – a bipartisan, bicameral bill – and turn it into something that cannot pass.

Senate Democrats will not be a party to yet another Republican charade that will inevitably shut down the Department of Homeland Security and put our nation at risk. The Senate should reaffirm our bipartisan vote last Friday for a clean bill to prevent a shutdown. We had 68 votes and we can do it again. We should do it again.

Despite Boehner and the House Republican leadership’s claims that no deal has been made, House Democrats are telling their members that they will be voting on a clean funding bill for Homeland Security this week. Democrats have the option of using an obscure House rule to bring the bill to the floor for a vote, but it is more likely that Speaker Boehner is going to cave.

Even if Boehner doesn’t put the bill on the floor himself, it is clear that an agreement has been reached between House Democrats and Republicans. Speaker Boehner is running out of escape routes. Boehner doesn’t want to shut down Homeland Security, but the clock is ticking, and Democrats aren’t going to budge.

Jason Easley
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