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Homeland Security funding deal elusive as deadline nears

House leaders, Senate Democrats at odds over how to fund Homeland Security before deadline

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walks to the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, for a procedural vote as Congress ...

Congress Homeland

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walks to the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, for a procedural vote as Congress ...

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With a partial shutdown of the Homeland Security Department possible at week's end, Speaker John Boehner says the House of Representatives wants to enter talks with the Senate on a final bill funding the agency. Senate Democrats are not interested.

The Senate is holding a vote Monday on whether to proceed on that idea.

Congress late Friday approved a one-week extension for the department after House conservatives defied their leadership and helped defeat legislation that would have given the agency a three-week reprieve.

House Republican leaders on Sunday demanded that Democrats begin negotiations on funding for the department and President Barack Obama's unilateral actions on immigration. But even some Republicans said the party should simply surrender and give the agency money without conditions.

Rep. Peter King, a former chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, said Boehner needs to find a way to get a bill to the House floor without the divisive immigration provisions.

"There's no doubt it will pass. ... We cannot allow this small group to block it," King said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, agreed to a one-week extension and told her Democratic colleagues in a letter to back the seven-day patch because "your vote will assure that we will vote for full funding next week."

Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 3 House Republican, said Sunday there was no such deal.

But privately, a senior Democratic congressional aide said Boehner spoke to Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and committed to bringing up a bill without conditions. The person spoke anonymously to relate a private conversation.

A spokesman for Reid said Sunday there will be no negotiations with the House over Homeland Security funding and immigration. Senate Democrats are expected to block any plans for formal talks in Monday's vote.

"Sen. Reid has been clear for days on the fact that there will be no conference," said Adam Jentleson, Reid's spokesman.

Scalise spoke on Fox News, and King spoke on ABC.

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Associated Press writers Kimberly Hefling, Donna Cassata and Erica Werner contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-09-28 10:10 GMT+08:00