At around 11 A.M. Eastern Time, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced that he would allow for a clean funding bill for Homeland Security on Tuesday. The embattled House Speaker said that the Senate’s Department of Homeland Security funding bill would be brought to the House Floor on Tuesday.
The contest over funding Homeland Security has become an epic fail for the House Speaker. He acknowledged that Democrats had won the fight, and took a jab at Senate Republicans, stating:
Unfortunately, the fight was never won in the other chamber. Democrats stayed united and blocked our bill, and our Republican colleagues in the Senate never found a way to win this fight.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell folded last week, knowing that the Senate lacked the 67 votes needed to override a presidential veto.
Boehner suffered considerable embarrassment on Friday when he couldn’t even marshal through a mere three week funding bill. He needed Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats to bail him out, by supporting a one-week extension for Homeland Security.
Friday’s failure signaled Boehner’s inability to control the House GOP Caucus. Despite holding Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress, McConnell and Boehner have proven impotent to govern, after their victories in the 2014 election.
Boehner’s capitulation sets up a potentially dramatic floor vote on Tuesday, which will decide the fate of Homeland Security funding. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who helped orchestrate passage of the one-week stopgap measure on Friday, applauded Boehner’s decision. Pelosi remarked:
Today, we have an opportunity, in a bipartisan way, to strengthen the homeland security of our nation. …We shouldn’t wait another day to remove all doubt to our enemies, to American families and to the affected workers that we will fully fund the Department of Homeland Security.
By staying unified and demanding a “clean funding” bill for Homeland Security, House and Senate Democrats stood firm in protecting Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration. Congressional Republicans were outsmarted and outmaneuvered at every turn. John Boehner lost control of his caucus and was unable to undermine Obama’s executive action.
Boehner is an ineffective leader and not a very skillful parliamentarian. His actions on Tuesday are likely to further enrage the growing nihilistic right-wing in the Republican Party. How long he will survive as House Speaker remains to be seen. However, what is clear, is that Boehner has recognized that he is powerless to override the President of the United States. So on Tuesday, the humiliated House Speaker was forced to cave in and yield to allowing a clean funding bill for Homeland Security.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.