WASHINGTON -- House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (La.) on Sunday rejected the suggestion that House Republicans had made a deal with Democrats to pass a "clean" bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security next week, telling "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, "There is no such deal and there's no such bill."
Scalise is seen as a leader of the conservative wing of the GOP-controlled House, which has so far rejected any long-term funding for DHS that does not include language that dismantles President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration. That action, announced last year, would enable as many as 5 million undocumented people to remain in the country and work legally for three years. Republicans claim that the president in issuing that directive has overstepped his authority. A federal judge temporarily halted the actions from moving forward.
"On Friday there was a bill on the House floor to pass a clean [DHS] funding bill, and we rejected that because we said, 'We're fighting the president on what he's done illegally on immigration and we want to continue this battle,'" Scalise said. Instead of funding DHS for the year, the House passed a one-week funding bill, ensuring that the GOP's internal battle on the matter would continue for another week.
"What we did was pass a bill that now forces the Senate to vote on going to conference. We actually passed a bill that pushes back on the president's illegal actions on immigration. They made changes to that bill that we don't like," Scalise said. "On Monday, the Senate will actually be taking that vote."
Scalise did not offer any resolution to the impasse beyond encouraging the public to press the Senate to move forward with the House version of the bill, which is all but assured to fail. "I would encourage anybody who disagrees with the president's illegal actions on immigration, like I do, to light up the Senate switchboard between now and Monday evening," he said.