Does Boehner Have a Way Out of DHS Stalemate?

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Washington, DC

With the House and Senate at odds over a Department of Homeland Security funding bill that would or would not fund Obama’s unconstitutional power grab in immigration policy, there may be a way out for House Speaker John Boehner, although it’s bound to come with risks of its own.

Already there are some calling for his head, per Roll Call:

Already there is chatter among the House’s more conservative circles that now is the time to depose Speaker John A. Boehner — and the Ohio Republican somehow has to appease a number of constituencies within his own party who want different things.

As for a way out of the current mess, per a previous CQ Roll Call report, existing rules allow for a House Democrat “to force a vote on a clean DHS funding measure” akin to what the Senate has already passed.

Under clause four of House Rule XXII — not to be confused with the more-often cited Senate Rule XXII — “When the stage of disagreement has been reached on a bill or resolution with House or Senate amendments, a motion to dispose of any amendment shall be privileged.”

In other words, any House lawmaker could take to the floor and move the House concur with the Senate bill.

In effect, said Democrat would make a privileged motion that the House back away from its previous opposition to the Senate bill and agree with the Senate amendment.

The Senate voted to amend the House-passed DHS funding bill — with immigration policy riders — and replace it with a “clean,” six-month spending bill. The House, in turn, voted to “disagree” with the Senate’s amendment to the House’s proposal, sending the bill back across the Rotunda and requesting a conference committee.

The problem for Boehner is that it would still require a majority vote, and there are also ways to derail the option. If he allows it to proceed as above, it would be difficult if not impossible for him to appease conservatives that he did what he could do to accommodate their strong desire to say no to Obama’s executive power grab.

For now, focus is likely to remain on the Netanyahu speech, before returning to this issue immediately after.