WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US House Republicans need to approve a funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that will not undo President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said during a press briefing on Wednesday.
"We’re gonna see what emerges out of this process, what clearly should emerge is a clear plan from congressional Republicans to fund the Department of Homeland Security before the impending deadline," Earnest stressed.
Funding for DHS is set to expire at the end of February, which would leave the department’s non-essential employees without pay.
On Sunday, Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner said during an interview with Fox News that the Republican-controlled House had done its part to pass a bill to fund DHS, but argued that Senate Democrats were blocking debate on the bill.
Earnest said that Boehner’s remarks during the Fox News interview raised concerns about “whether or not this new governing Republican majority in Congress is committed to actually being responsible and acting in the best interest of the American people."
The US House of Representatives introduced a $39.7 billion appropriations bill for DHS earlier in January; however, it included a Republican-sponsored amendment to withhold funding for any of the president’s executive actions on immigration.
President Obama has warned that he will veto any bill that does not fully fund DHS, turning the issue into a brewing political battle between his administration and the Republican-controlled Congress.