Boehner leaves open possible vote on Dem-backed DHS bill

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Boehner leaves open possible vote on Dem-backed DHS bill
Congress has passed legislation that will fund the Department of Homeland Security without touching President Obama's immigration actions, bringing an end to a months-long battle that threatened to shut down an agency tasked with helping protect the U.S. against terrorist threats. In a 257 to 167 vote, the House passed a "clean" Homeland Security funding bill on Tuesday without provisions that would curtail the president's executive orders on immigration.
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 27: House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) walks through the House side of the US Capitol February 27, 2015 in Washington, DC. Later today the House will vote on a three week continuing resolution for funding the Department of Homeland Security. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, walks to the chamber as the House failed to advance a short-term funding measure to keep the Department of Homeland Security funded past a midnight deadline, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday evening, Feb. 27, 2015. Conservatives in Speaker Boehner's own party fought against three-week funding measure because it would not overturn Obama’s actions on immigration. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 27: Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., speaks during the Senate Democrats' news conference to urge Speaker Boehner bring the fully funded DHS bill up for a vote in the House on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 27: Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., speaks during the Senate Democrats' news conference to urge Speaker Boehner bring the fully funded DHS bill up for a vote in the House on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 27: From left, Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., participate in the Senate Democrats' news conference to urge Speaker Boehner bring the fully funded DHS bill up for a vote in the House on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent waits as a group of undocumented men, not pictured, are deported to Mexico at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is nearing a partial shutdown as the agency's funding is set to expire Friday -- something Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had said wouldn't happen on his watch. Photographer: David Maung/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent removes handcuffs from undocumented men being deported to Mexico at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is nearing a partial shutdown as the agency's funding is set to expire Friday -- something Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had said wouldn't happen on his watch. Photographer: David Maung/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent waits as a group of undocumented men, not pictured, are deported to Mexico at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is nearing a partial shutdown as the agency's funding is set to expire Friday -- something Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had said wouldn't happen on his watch. Photographer: David Maung/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A U.S. Border Patrol agents stands outside his vehicle next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence in San Diego, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is nearing a partial shutdown as the agency's funding is set to expire Friday -- something Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had said wouldn't happen on his watch. Photographer: David Maung/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent directs a group of undocumented men being deported to Mexico at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is nearing a partial shutdown as the agency's funding is set to expire Friday -- something Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had said wouldn't happen on his watch. Photographer: David Maung/Bloomberg via Getty Images
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents speak as an undocumented man is being deported to Mexico at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is nearing a partial shutdown as the agency's funding is set to expire Friday -- something Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had said wouldn't happen on his watch. Photographer: David Maung/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A United States Border Patrol agent rides an ATV vehicle a few hundred meters north of the U.S.-Mexico border on February 26, 2015 in San Diego, California, USA. In the background is the city of Tijuana, Mexico. (David Maung/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
A U.S. Border Patrol agents stands outside his vehicle next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence in San Diego, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is nearing a partial shutdown as the agency's funding is set to expire Friday -- something Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had said wouldn't happen on his watch. Photographer: David Maung/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent waits as an undocumented man is received by Mexican immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is nearing a partial shutdown as the agency's funding is set to expire Friday -- something Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had said wouldn't happen on his watch. Photographer: David Maung/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jeh Johnson, U.S. secretary of Homeland Security (DHS), center, speaks during a news conference with former secretaries of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, right, and Michael Chertoff, at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Financing for the DHS is set to lapse after Friday and the agency would face a partial shutdown unless Congress provides new money. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jeh Johnson, U.S. secretary of Homeland Security (DHS), speaks during a news conference with former secretaries of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, not pictured, at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Financing for the DHS is set to lapse after Friday and the agency would face a partial shutdown unless Congress provides new money. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sign stands at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Financing for the DHS is set to lapse after Friday and the agency would face a partial shutdown unless Congress provides new money. More than 200,000 government employees deemed essential at DHS, including Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers, would still have to report to their posts, even though their pay would stop unless Congress finds a solution. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, walks to the chamber as the House failed to advance a short-term funding measure to keep the Department of Homeland Security funded past a midnight deadline, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday evening, Feb. 27, 2015. Conservatives in Speaker Boehner's own party fought against three-week funding measure because it would not overturn Obama’s actions on immigration. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
From left, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. and Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del. participate in a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, to appeal for a long-term clean funding bill for the Homeland Security Department just hours before a shutdown was to begin. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., leaves the chamber after lawmakers failed to advance a short-term funding measure to keep the Department of Homeland Security funded past a midnight deadline, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday evening, Feb. 27, 2015. GOP conservatives in Speaker Boehner's party fought against the three-week funding measure because it would not overturn Obama’s actions on immigration. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., holds up a copy of the Constitution while talking to reporters as House Republicans emerge from a closed-door meeting on how to deal with the impasse over the Homeland Security budget, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. GOP lawmakers have been trying to block President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration through the funding for the DHS which expires Friday night. Sounding retreat, House Republicans agreed Thursday night to push short-term funding to prevent a partial shutdown at the Department of Homeland Security while leaving in place Obama administration immigration policies they have vowed to repeal. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 27: House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), at center, reads a letter she sent to colleagues in congress, urging support for a DHS stopgap funding bill, during a news conference with Democratic leaders including, from left, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) at the U.S. Capitol on February 27, 2015 in Washington, DC. The House failed earlier today to pass a 20-day stopgap bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, after previous Senate and House versions of DHS funding bills were rejected by the other chamber, threatening to shut down the deparment with no clear resolution. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 27: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor for the votes on funding the Department of Homeland Security on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 27: The U.S. Capitol is seen at dusk as the U.S. Congress struggles to find a solution to fund the Department of Homeland Security on February 27, 2015 in Washington, DC. The DHS budget is set to expire at midnight this evening after the House of Representatives failed to pass a short term funding bill earlier today. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 27: House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), at center, reads a letter she sent to colleagues in congress, urging support for a DHS stopgap funding bill, during a news conference with Democratic leaders including, from left, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) at the U.S. Capitol on February 27, 2015 in Washington, DC. The House failed earlier today to pass a 20-day stopgap bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, after previous Senate and House versions of DHS funding bills were rejected by the other chamber, threatening to shut down the deparment with no clear resolution. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday called on fellow Drmocrats to support the one-week stopgap funding bill. The U.S. Senate on Friday approved a the bill to avert a partial shutdown at midnight of the U.S. domestic security agency, leaving it up to the House of Representatives to either approve the bill or let the shutdown go ahead.
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Speaker John Boehner left open the possibility Monday that the House might pass long-term funding for the Homeland Security Department without immigration provisions attached, as Republican options dwindled for avoiding a capitulation to the White House and Democrats.

Boehner declined to say over the weekend if he would permit a vote on the Senate-passed measure, and his spokesman similarly sidestepped the question Monday. Officials in both parties predict it would pass, and end the recurring threat of a partial agency shutdown.

Democrats said they believe the House eventually will vote on the stand-alone spending measure, which conservatives oppose and President Barack Obama is eager to sign. "It is long overdue for House Republicans to stop the obstruction of full funding for the Department of Homeland Security," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader.

The White House also urged a vote on the bill, which would provide funding for the department through the Sept. 30 end of the budget year. It has been stripped of provisions to roll back administration directives shielding millions of immigrants from the threat of deportation.

Democrats got an assist from an unlikely source. The American Action Network, a political organization with links to the House GOP leadership, said it would spend more than $400,000 this week in advertising pressuring conservatives not to stand in the way of "critical security funding."

"That's the wrong message to send to our enemies," one ad said.

Across the Capitol, Senate Democrats did their part, formally rejecting a Republican bid to convene House-Senate negotiations on the issue.

The result was to send the long-term funding measure back to the House, where rules generally permit any lawmaker to seek a vote on it.

It was unclear when that might happen, but with the agency headed for a partial shutdown at midnight Friday, time was growing short.

Passage of the stand-alone spending bill would seal the failure of a Republican strategy designed to make Homeland Security funding contingent on concessions from Obama. The president has issued a pair of directives since 2012 that lifted the threat of deportation from millions of immigrants living in the country illegally, steps that Republicans say exceeded his constitutional authority.

The Homeland Security Department, which has major anti-terrorism duties, is also responsible for border control.

A funding bill for the agency has produced partisan gridlock in the first several weeks of the new Congress, even though Republicans gained control of the Senate last fall and won more seats in the House than at any time in 70 years.

Democratic unity blocked passage in the Senate of House-passed legislation with the immigration provisions. By late last week, a split in House GOP ranks brought the department to the brink of a partial shutdown. That was averted when Congress approved a one-week funding bill that Obama signed into law only moments before a midnight Friday deadline.

The public recriminations bordered on ferocious. Lawmakers aligned with the leadership complained about tea party-backed conservatives who refused to vote even for a three-week bill that was designed to provide a face-saving way out of the struggle.

Rep. Devin Nunes of California, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said his party's leadership was in a position of trying to "placate a small group of phony conservative members who have no credible policy proposals and no political strategy to stop Obama's lawlessness."

He added they are "seemingly unaware that they can't advance conservatism by playing fantasy football with their voting cards."

Boehner, interviewed over the weekend on CBS' "Face the Nation," was less acerbic, but critical nonetheless.

Asked if his GOP critics had a plan to force Obama to sign legislation they wanted, he replied, "Not that I know of."

Despite claims by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California and others in her party, Boehner denied pledging last week to permit a vote on a full-year funding bill without immigration provisions in exchange for Democratic votes on the one-week measure that avoided a partial shutdown.

Instead, he said in the CBS interview he had promised her he would follow the "regular order" in the House, which generally means following the rules as legislation is debated. In this case, he said if Senate Democrats blocked GOP attempts to open negotiations on the issue, the stand-alone bill "may be coming back to the House."

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