Boehner Says He’d Allow Homeland Security ShutdownThe House speaker, John A. Boehner, said Sunday that he was “certainly” prepared to allow funding for the Department of Homeland Security to lapse, raising the possibility that one of the government’s largest and most vital agencies could be shut down at the end of the month. Coming just two months after Republicans gained full control of Congress, a shutdown would be a major political problem as the party tries to honor a vow to govern responsibly and cooperatively. It would contradict a pledge from Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, who said the day after his party won decisively at the polls in November, “There will be no government shutdowns.” And it would exacerbate a rift that has been growing between Republicans in the House and the Senate. “The House has done its job; we’ve spoken,” Mr. Boehner said on “Fox News Sunday.” “If the Senate doesn’t like it, they’ll have to produce something that fits their institution.” Pressed on whether he would, in effect, allow the department to shut down if the Senate does not come up with a funding bill of its own, the speaker said: “Certainly. The House has acted.” In dispute is how to handle the issue of immigration. Last month, House Republicans passed a spending plan for the 240,000-employee department that included provisions to gut President Obama’s immigration policy. The bill would revoke legal protections for millions of unauthorized immigrants, including children, and put them at risk of deportation. The House measure stands no chance of becoming law. Senate Democrats have filibustered it; Mr. Obama has said he would veto it; and even some Senate Republicans, including John McCain of Arizona, have questioned the wisdom of the House’s unyielding position, raising doubts that the bill would get even 51 Republican votes in the Senate. A statement issued by a spokesman for Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, said on Sunday that all of her caucus would vote for a “clean” Homeland Security bill — one that contained no immigration-related amendments — and urged the speaker to bring such a measure to a vote. “Speaker Boehner made it clear that he has no plan to avoid a government shutdown that would threaten the safety of the American people,” the statement released by the spokesman, Drew Hammill, said. It called Mr. Boehner’s remarks “a sad reflection of the fact that the Tea Party continues to hold the gavel as they insist on their futile anti-immigrant grandstanding.” Lawmakers are gone from Washington until next week, meaning that they have just four days in the Capitol in which to reach a deal before the department’s funding runs out on Feb. 27. Mr. Boehner also spoke Sunday about another issue that has become a distraction: his invitation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to speak before a joint meeting of Congress. The offer has prompted outrage in Israel and the United States from critics who say both leaders are using the speech for political gain. Mr. Boehner said he had not consulted with the White House because he had wanted to make sure it did not interfere. “There’s no secret here in Washington about the animosity that this White House has for Prime Minister Netanyahu,” he said. “And I frankly didn’t want them getting in the way and quashing what I thought was a real opportunity.” Though Mr. Netanyahu has faced complaints at home as he campaigns for another term, he has declined to cancel the speech, which is set for March 3. MSN News