Obama and Congress look for common goals

14 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Boehner to Obama at White House meeting: The House will defund your immigration plan.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) went to the White House Tuesday to tell President Barack Obama that the House would vote to defund Obama’s executive action on immigration, and wouldn’t waver in the face of Obama’s threat to veto the bill. Boehner and other congressional leaders met with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday, in a meeting that covered immigration, cybersecurity and U.S. military action against the Islamic State.

The $39.7 billion spending bill was expected to pass by Wednesday, when House Republicans leave Washington for a two-day policy retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Boehner, however, declined to say whether he would bring a “clean” DHS funding bill to the floor if the newly Republican-controlled Senate fails to pass the House measure or if Obama vetoes it over immigration-related provisions. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) would defund Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy is also scheduled, as are others aimed at treating sex offenders as priorities for deportation — the Obama administration has not put those immigrants on the highest level of priority for removal. Current funding for the sprawling agency that spearheads domestic counterterrorism efforts and secures U.S. borders, airports and coastal waters expires on Feb. 27.

Boehner’s statement is likely to fuel more discussion about whether the GOP’s stance on immigration will lead to a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security. Republicans also plan an amendment aimed at reversing Obama’s 2012 initiative deferring action against immigrants brought into the United States illegally as children. If passed, it could put hundreds of thousands of people at risk of deportation. “I would expect some bipartisan opposition on that,” said Representative Tom Cole, a close ally of Boehner. “Some people will vote no on the amendment but might still be comfortable on the final vote, after they’ve had a chance to register their concern.” Meanwhile, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi accused Republicans of putting DHS funding in jeopardy at a time of high alert following the last week’s deadly attacks in Paris. “In January, a horrible, horrible terrorist attack took place in Paris,” Pelosi told reporters on the Capitol steps. “You’d think it would have heightened the urgency to pass a homeland security bill, but the Republicans still say no to passing a clean bill unless they can be a menace to immigration.” But delays in the Senate would likely put more pressure on Republicans to separate its fight on immigration from the funding bill. “We’re voting to block the president’s overreach, his executive overreach, which I believe is beyond his constitutional duty and frankly, violates the Constitution itself,” he told reporters. “This is not about, actually, the issue of immigration.

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