Speaker John Boehner on Thursday night finally laid out a plan to avert a partial shutdown of the Homeland Security Department: kick the can a little farther down the road. Yet even that may fail.
With just one day left until funding runs dry for DHS, Boehner urged his conference to pass a three-week extension of current funding and try to force Senate Democrats into a conference committee to resolve their differences. The only alternatives, he told his members behind closed doors, would be to let the department shut down or capitulate to the Senate by passing a clean full-year funding bill.
But passing the measure in the House will not be easy. Boehner's partial solution comes after a weeks-long deadlock, and he is stuck between angry conservatives adamant about blocking President Obama's executive action on immigration and moderates concerned about the politics of a shutdown.
After weeks of discord of their own, the Senate is slated to send a clean funding bill to the House on Friday, leaving funding the department up to the lower chamber. Despite conservative groups and blogs blasting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's "surrender," immigration hard-liners waved their own white flags on Thursday, allowing leaders to come to a deal to fund the department on a clean bill before Friday night's shutdown deadline. Now, House members are wary of being jammed by their Senate counterparts.