House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday called on Senate Democrats to “get off their ass” and help pass Republican-backed legislation that would fund the Department of Homeland Security while gutting the president’s immigration actions.
“Why don’t you go ask the Senate Democrats when they’re going to get off their ass and do something other than to vote no,” Boehner told reporters.
Boehner insists that the House has “done its job” by passing legislation to fund the department before the February 27th deadline. But that funding includes language that would roll back the president’s executive actions on immigration, something Democrats strongly oppose.
The Senate has failed three times to advance the House’s version of the bill, which needs 60 votes to move forward. Democrats blocked those procedural measures, noting that Obama would veto the bill if it included the immigration language.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has suggested that there’s no path forward for the bill in the Senate unless House Republicans rewrite it in a way that can garner sufficient Democratic support in the upper chamber.
But Boehner says the fault for the impasse lies squarely with the other party.
“The issue here is not Senate Republicans; the issue here is Senate Democrats,” he added.
It's not the first time that Boehner has been quoted urging his Senate colleagues to "get off their asses."
He reportedly used the same phrase in 2013 in a closed-door meeting during the debate over sequestration.
"We know Speaker Boehner is frustrated but cursing is not going to resolve the squabbling among Republicans that led to this impasse," Minority Leader Harry Reid spokesperson Adam Jentleson said in a statement. "Democrats have been clear from day one about the way out of this mess: take up the clean Homeland Security funding bill which Republicans signed off on in December – and which is ready to come to the Senate floor – pass it, and move on."
-- Andrew Rafferty