The Associated Press reported this morning that White House and congressional negotiators met through the night last night in a successful effort to keep the Department of Homeland Security funded until 2:15 this afternoon. House Speaker John Boehner announced that the two sides would meet again after lunch in an attempt to keep DHS open until 3:30 pm.

At a hastily called White House news conference, President Obama said he was encouraged by the progress of the negotiations. “I'm encouraged by the progress of the negotiations,” the president said.

Speaking to reporters, Speaker Boehner emphasized the importance of keeping DHS open until 2:15 p.m. “This gives us a chance to get our precious American children off to school safely,” Boehner said. “Now we have to try to fund DHS through to 3:30, so we can get our precious American children back home again, especially in the hard-hit states of Iowa and New Hampshire.”

But Boehner said he would not allow his party to be bullied into a deal that is bad for the American people. “We will not allow the American people to be held hostage,” he said. Asked whether his language wasn't a little strident, Boehner said, “No.”

Boehner went on to say his mother had been held hostage since the day President Obama took office more than six years ago. “She's 89 years old, and lives in Zanesville, and frankly I'm tired of it. This is not what the American people want, and I'm not going to stand for it.” Asked whether ISIS was involved, Boehner said, “I don't know, but if it is, the president should do something about it. That's his job, not mine, and he should do his job. I don't ask him to do my job, and he shouldn't ask me to do his.”

In the White House press conference President Obama outlined the major points of the DHS funding deal. In exchange for funding DHS until 2:15 pm., President Obama agreed to relinquish presidential control over immigration, the Treasury Department and the White House menu for breakfast and lunch — but the administration retained control over all evening meals, including official state banquets.

“The Speaker really wanted congressional oversight and control of all meals — and the Surgeon General's office,” Obama said, “But we held firm. Let me make one thing clear. The American people have spoken loud and clear on this, and they want the White House, my White House, to be able to decide what it wants to have for dinner.”

For his part, Boehner insisted the GOP would give no more ground. “We can't just have a bunch of people – illegal people – running around cutting lawns, washing cars and picking grapes in California. It's not good for you, it's not good for me, and it's not good for America. This is not what America was founded on, and it's not what our founding fathers had in mind when they formed this great nation.

“If we let this kind of thing go unchecked, the next thing you know, these illegal people will be cooking, washing dishes and babysitting, and that's when it starts to affect national security. And we just can't have that.”

Asked what he intended to press for in the afternoon negotiations, Speaker Boehner said his party wants the Obama administration to cede control of cigarette taxes, liquor licenses and Nebraska. “We're tired of haggling over mediocrities,” Boehner said. “The American people want us to get serious. My mother wants us to get serious, and she's 89.”

Later in the morning, President Obama responded to Boehner's comments in a conference call with reporters from ESPN and ESPN-HD. “Look, if that's what the Speaker wants, that's fine, let him propose it. But let me make one thing clear, the American people have spoken loud and clear on this, and they don't want cigarette taxes or liquor licenses to become a political football.”

Meanwhile, airports and Department of Homeland Security offices around the country are preparing to shut down in case a new deal is not reached by the 2:15 p.m. deadline. Reached by telephone at his Grand Cayman office, former DHS chief Michael Chertoff had harsh words for the potential DHS shutdown. “Look,” he said, “all across this great country of ours, my company has hardworking men and women, every one of them a legal man and woman, and they're installing new airport screening machines to replace the last ones my company installed just a few years ago, and now all that work is in jeopardy, and that is a scandal, plain and simple.”