The No. 2 House Democrat says Congress risks sending the world a message of disunity in a time of terrorist threats if it fails to quickly fund the Department of Homeland Security.

Rep. Steny Hoyer says some Republicans are trying to use the agency funding bill as a vehicle to overturn President Barack Obama's immigration policies. The Maryland Democrat, who is his party's whip, says this is complicating prospects for passage on legislation that, in most respects, has virtually unanimous bipartisan support.

Hoyer tells MSNBC Tuesday that conservative Republicans "want to have confrontation" on many issues.

Hoyer adds that he hopes House Speaker John Boehner can tame recalcitrant GOP lawmakers. Hoyer appeared for the interview just hours before the Democratic and Republican leadership meets at the White House with Obama.