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Boehner needs to follow his own advice on DHS funding

Speaker Boehner is fed up. The Republican leader of the House of Representatives is highly annoyed at the Senate. To be more precise, Senate Democrats, who are now in the minority. And he had a tart way of expressing his pique yesterday.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had harsh words regarding disagreement over the Department of Homeland Security budget, instructing reporters to "ask Senate Democrats when they're going to get off their ass and do something—other than to vote no." (Video: AP)
The House did its job. We won the fight to fund the Department of Homeland Security and to stop the president’s unconstitutional actions. Now it’s time for the Senate to do their work. You know, in the gift shop out here they’ve got these little booklets on how a bill becomes a law. All right? The House has done its job! 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!

Boehner went on to say, “The issue here is not Senate Republicans. The issue here is Senate Democrats.”

Sigh. It’s always Senate Democrats’ fault. When they were in the majority, then-Majority Leader Harry Reid was to blame for stifling the minority by not allowing amendments to bills. Now that Democrats are in the minority, they are to blame for blocking GOP attempts to deny funding to the Department of Homeland Security that would be used to carry out President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. According to a tweet from Chad Pergram of Fox News, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said today about the DHS funding bill, “The ball is in the Senate’s court and the Democratic leadership is going to have to take responsibility.” Funny how the party that controls both the House and Senate absolves itself of any responsibility to govern.

Last year, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) complained bitterly about Reid ignoring the voice of the Senate minority. She rhetorically asked in the New York Times, “Why is he not leading this Senate? Why is he choosing to ignore the fact that he has a minority party that he needs to work with, that actually has some decent ideas? Why is he bringing down the institution of the Senate?”

Those queries were directed at Reid. But they now apply to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and to Boehner. If the House sent a bill to the Senate that McConnell could pass with some Democratic votes, the congressional GOP leadership wouldn’t be headed for another government shutdown of their own making. As Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said yesterday, “Clearly the DHS bill, as constructed, is not going to get 60 votes. So we would urge the House to do something new.”

Translation: Time for Boehner and his burn-this-mutha-down caucus to “get off their ass and do something.”

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj