by Jim Nintzel
With Congress taking this week off from D.C., the opportunity to resolve the ongoing stalemate over immigration policy and Homeland Security funding is drawing short.
Congress will get back to work next week and the funding runs out on Feb. 27.
Talking Points Memo notes that McCain said Sunday on Meet the Press that Homeland Security's job was too important to be held as a political hostage:
The House in January passed a bill that would fund the department and overturn Obama's actions deferring the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants. If the Senate does not pass the House by Feb. 27, the Department of Homeland Security will shutdown, and the Senate may not act in time to keep the department open.
On NBC's "Meet the Press," host Chuck Todd asked McCain if the House Republicans' approach was appropriate.
"I think it would be terrible. The American people didn’t give us a majority to have a fight between House and Senate Republicans. They want things done. We cannot cut funding from the Department of Homeland Security," McCain said. "And there’s ways we can address what the President did was unconstitutional. But it’s not through shutting down the Department of Homeland Security. It’s too serious."
Meanwhile, The Hill reports that the Obama administration plans to "ratchet up the pressure" for a clean funding bill:
Congress appears stuck on the issue because the House is insisting that the funding bill also overturn President Obama’s executive actions on immigration that have provided legal status and work permits to millions of immigrants.
Senate Republicans do not have the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Democratic filibuster of the House bill, but have been unable to convince their House counterparts to bend.
The White House believes it holds the upper hand in the battle, and will seek to press its bully pulpit advantage during a recess week for Congress.