Speaker John Boehner on Friday, failed at keeping the Department of Homeland Security open for three weeks. His own House Republicans voted against Boehner’s legislation. The final vote count was 202-224. Twelve Democrats voted in favor and 51 Republicans voted against. Boehner called recess twice, so he could attempt to gather up the votes to pass his funding bill. Prior to the final vote, Minority leader Pelosi told Republicans that they were allowing their anger towards President Obama to jeopardize national security.
Two House Republicans told CNN on Saturday, there’s rumblings among those close to Boehner that if he allowed a vote on a clean DHS funding bill, conservatives would make a motion to vacate the chair, a direct challenge to his job. Conservatives have demanded that any funding bill include a provision rolling back President Barack Obama’s executive action delaying deportations for illegal immigrants. Democrats, meanwhile, remain staunchly opposed to tying the two together, and that fight has kept Congress in a stalemate over the bill all week, sending DHS right up to the funding deadline.
Complaints against Boehner have been increasing in number since the end of last year. He decided to move forward with the “cromnibus” that funded the government through September, except Homeland Security which only received money through Friday. The idea at the time was to avoid another damaging government shutdown — and then use homeland security financing as leverage to force President Barack Obama to back away from his actions to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.
During Boehner’s address to the press, he was asked whether his speakership is on the line. He responded, “No! Heaven’s sake, no,” “Not at all.” Removing Boehner from his post as Speaker of the House is a tough task. A lawmaker must introduce a “motion to vacate,” which a majority of GOP members would have to support. Republicans say that would never happen in the conference right now. Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent confirmed rumors of conservatives using the current DHS funding fight as a tactic to remove Boehner. “Right now, we have to get serious, I think a lot of people better get serious about governing and it’s time for all of these, you know D.C. games to end. I mean all these palace coups or whatever the hell is going on around here has to end, and we have to get down to business of governing.” Boehner faced an attempted mutiny at the beginning of this new Congress, when a handful of conservatives voted against him as leader.