Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

Who’s ready for another government shutdown threat? House Speaker John Boehner, for one.

Here’s a taste of what a Republican-dominated Congress can do: Sunday, Boehner made an appearance on Fox News to tell the GOP’s backup singers at the Murdochian media mothership about his fine plan to let the legislative process limp to a halt as a result of the ongoing differences between his party and the president over the immigration issue.

The impasse has taken on a potentially costly new dimension in that Boehner and his supporters are willing to let an important bill languish if both branches of Congress can’t agree to pass it in the next four days. The measure is designed to secure ongoing funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which on the surface doesn’t seem like a particularly controversial goal — except that there’s another important facet to it, as CBS News detailed:

The bill, which would provide the Department of Homeland Security with necessary operating funds, is contingent on obstructing President Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration. While a bill has passed the house, Senate Democrats have blocked it several times.


Boehner tried to shift the blame to the other party, even as the comparisons to the Ted Cruz-led 2013 government shutdown started pouring in.

“Senate Democrats are the ones standing in the way,” Boehner said. “They’re the ones jeopardizing funding. Why don’t they get on the bill and offer amendments, offer their ideas? Let’s see what the Senate can do.”

While the fight falls along party lines, even some Republicans are skeptical that the political maneuvering will prove fruitful.

Rep. Peter King, R-New York, also admitted that “More likely, Republicans will be blamed.”

“We control the House and the Senate,” King told The Hill newspaper on Friday. “You’re reading about ISIS, about Paris, reading about beheadings and people burned to death, and our response is to shut down Homeland Security?”

Boehner’s predecessor, Nancy Pelosi, had some harsh words about his tactics, taking aim at the speaker and implicating his party in a manner that laid some helpful groundwork for the 2016 campaign season: “The speaker’s reliance on talking points and finger-pointing was a sad reflection of the fact that the tea party continues to hold the gavel as they insist on their futile anti-immigrant grandstanding,” she said.

Flipping Boehner’s script, she claimed the Dems were able to keep their priorities straight, unlike some people: “With every House Democrat now co-sponsoring clean legislation to fund DHS, it is clear that the votes are present to pass a bill now if only Speaker Boehner would get out of the way.”

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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