House Republicans are firm in their contention that it is up to the Senate to figure out a way to move forward on funding the Department of Homeland Security.
“[Senate Democrats] are holding this thing up, not the House. So the ball is in the Senate’s court and more particularly it’s in the court of the Democrats. They’re the ones who are putting the country in jeopardy, not the House,” Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) told Breitbart News as he left the GOP’s weekly conference meeting Wednesday.
Last week, Senate Democrats prevented the House-passed DHS appropriations bill — that also blocks President Obama’s executive amnesty — from coming to the Senate floor three times. Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that given the stalemate the House must revisit the issue.
“I think it’s clear we can’t go forward in the Senate, unless you all have heard something I haven’t and so the next move obviously is up to the House,” McConnell told reporters.
But Republicans in the House are pointing right back at the Senate.
“We’re waiting for the Senate to act,” Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) said Wednesday. “That’s the way things work around here. We don’t need to negotiate against ourselves the Senate needs to come up with something and sent it back to us. It’s on their plate.”
“The House is standing firm, it’s time for the Senate to do its job,” added Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA)
Lawmakers said that two of their former House colleagues turned senators — Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) — spoke in the meeting about the DHS situation in the Senate during their Wednesday conference meeting.
“Our message back to them. We’ve asked them to take this back: Our bill is our bill. This is what we’ve passed, this is what we expect you to pass, so get it done,” Rep. John Fleming (R-LA).
House Leadership was equally aggressive in calling on the Senate to move the bill.
“The House has done its job,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters. “Now why don’t you go ask the Senate Democrats when they are going to get off their ass and do something other than to vote ‘no!’”
Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) pointed out there is a process in place for Senate Democrats to make changes to the bill once they let it come to the floor.
“There are a number of senators who are voting against bringing this bill up to fund the Department of Homeland Security who months ago made statements in support of the House bill — actually said that the president doesn’t have the authority to do what they do. And now they’re voting against the bill to fund the department. It’s time for those Senators to put their money where their mouth is, to actually vote to take the bill up,” he said, pointing out there is an amendment process to alter the bill once it is on the floor.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY), meanwhile, was less focused on process and more focused on simply ensuring the department is funded.
“I can only speak for myself. One way or the other we have to get the funding. I’m coming from New York. I don’t want to explain when a bomb goes off why there was no funding,” King said.