If funding for the Department of Homeland Security runs out at the end of February, the majority of Americans are prepared to blame Congressional Republicans who have held back funding because of the president’s executive action, giving amnesty to nearly 5 million illegal immigrants.
According to the latest CNN/ORC poll, 53 percent of Americans said they would blame the Republican-controlled Congress if the DHS is forced to shut down everything but essential services. Meanwhile, 30 percent said they would blame President Obama and 13 percent say both would be at fault.
The poll comes just ahead of Congress’s Feb 28 deadline to approve funding for DHS in order to avoid a shutdown. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been at war over the spending bill for months—though the battle hardly has anything to do with DHS budget issues. It’s all about immigration and the president’s plans to bypass congress to exempt deportations for millions of illegal immigrants.
Republicans have been pushing back at the proposal, accusing the president of overstepping his authority. On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled to delay the president’s actions until a federal court determines whether they are constitutional.
For now, the DHS hangs in the balance.
Earlier this year, the Republican-controlled House overwhelmingly approved a funding measure for DHS that included defunding the White House’s actions. But the bill got hung up in the Senate where Republicans failed to get enough votes to override a Democratic filibuster.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has asked the House to pass a new bill that is more likely to be approved by the Upper Chamber, but House Speaker Boehner has made clear that won’t be happening.
On Sunday, Boehner told Fox News that he is “certainly” prepared to let DHS’s funding expire—putting full responsibility on the Senate.
“The House has done its job under the Constitution,” Boehner said. “It's time for the Senate to do their job.”
The CNN poll comes just as the public is beginning to warm up to the Republican-controlled Congress. Now, about 21 percent say they approve of the job Congress is doing, compared to just 13 percent before the elections.
Still, the poll isn’t necessarily bad news for the GOP, since the public also blamed them for the government shutdown over Obamacare and it didn’t seem to make much of a difference in the midterm elections.
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