If the Department of Homeland Security is forced to shut down at the end of this month because of a lack of funding, John Boehner says he's ready to let that happen and it won't be his fault. In an interview with Fox News Sunday, the House speaker said the House has already done its job, and he is "certainly" prepared to let Homeland Security funding lapse if Senate Democrats refuse to pass a bill that funds the department but also reverses President Obama's actions on immigration, reports the New York Times, which notes that lawmakers have just four working days left this month to reach a deal before funding runs out.
Senate Democrats, who have filibustered the spending bill, "are the ones jeopardizing funding," Boehner said. "Why don't they get on the bill and offer an amendment, offer their ideas." But fellow Republicans including Sen. John McCain say allowing a Homeland Security shutdown is not an option, and Democrat Chuck Schumer issued a statement yesterday saying it was "disingenuous" for Boehner to "blame Democrats when members of his own party, conservative leaders and others, have all asked him to back off this game of chicken," CNN reports. If funding does run out, around 200,000 of Homeland Security's 230,000 employees are considered vital workers who will have to stay on the job even if Congress can't agree on a way to pay them, the AP reports.