Republican House Speaker Rep. John Boehner said on Sunday that he thinks he can lead the GOP on immigration, despite the disparate views held by his caucus.
“I think so. I’m not going to suggest it’s easy, because it’s not,” he said on CBS "Face the Nation."
The remarks come just days after Congress delayed a funding battle over the Department of Homeland Security, which administers President Obama's immigration executive actions, by a week, passing a week’s worth of funding for the department that controls the borders, ports, and airline security.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell initially agreed to pass a clean funding bill—one that didn’t unravel the president’s immigration actions, as many in the GOP wanted—but at the last minute, Boehner pushed forward a one-week funding bill that continues the showdown for another seven days.
“We do have some members who disagree from time to time over the tactics that we decide to employ,” Boehner said. “Republicans are united that the president has far exceeded his constitutional authority.”
Indeed, Republicans are quite united in their dislike for the president, but Boehner has historically struggled to unite his caucus and Friday’s turnaround seems to indicate he’s struggling still. There was even some talk that if Boehner pushes forward a clean funding bill this week, he might be ousted as speaker. For now, he says he's requesting conference with the Senate to try and move the bill forward this week.