Rep. Louie Gohmert is keeping his fingers crossed that House Speaker John Boehner will put the kibosh on a Homeland Security funding vote, as long as it includes money for protecting millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.
Asked whether Boehner will bow to his conservative constituency, Gohmert, a Texas Republican, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV:
"He said we're not caving, giving in and we're going to stand firm. That's what he said even as recently as yesterday. Hopefully, that means we're good.
"In the meantime, just in case we're not, there are growing numbers that are saying 'Hey, we promised we would not fund this unconstitutional action.'"
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On Wednesday, lawmakers cleared the way for the Senate to pass funding the agency without blocking Obama's executive order for liberal immigration provisions, which include halting the deportations of millions of illegal aliens.
If that happens, it would then move to the House. But many House conservatives see it as surrender and don't want it to go to a vote. While Boehner has said the GOP won't cave, he's staying mum as to whether he'll bring the matter to a vote
Gohmert said there are Democratic senators who are squarely on the side of conservatives on the vote, but are looking for "cover."
"I know there are Democratic senators that have said 'Hey, I think what the president did is illegal and unconstitutional, but let's not vote on that together, don't make me vote on it with the funding of the DHS' because if we did that, it might actually stop the illegal amnesty and heaven forbid that we stop illegal and unconstitutional,"' he said.
"It's a little bit tough to listen to Democrats sound so pious and so wise in saying 'Let's split them and then get a separate vote so that I'll get to vote with the Republicans and that will give me cover and for all my friends and constituents back home that would vote me out of office if I had to vote on both of the DHS funding and amnesty and I didn't stop the amnesty.' This gives them cover."
Gohmert, Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, said if a partial shutdown does end up happening, Republicans must be able to convince Americans that they're not to blame.
"Our leadership has not done a good job of explaining that in the past. In fact, our speaker went on the Jay Leno show and said we shut [the government] down [in 2013]," he said.
"We did not shut it down. We voted over and over to compromise. We even voted to appoint conferees to work it out and [then-Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid would not let that come to a vote. He shut it down and so I don't know.
"Our leadership in the past has not done a good job in of articulating, but by golly, now is the time they better start."
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