Republican leaders are weighing their options on how to stop President Barack Obama passing an executive order on immigration while preventing a government shutdown over the spending bill due next month, Politico reported.
Obama has vowed to curtail the enforcement of immigration laws by the end of the year, which would allow millions of illegal immigrants to avoid deportation —
and Republicans fear that the amnesty could result in the year-long spending package being held up.
House Speaker John Boehner and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are attempting to come up with ways for Republicans, especially conservatives, to express their anger over Obama’s unilateral program without causing a shutdown over the budget deal.
The proposals include a separate piece of immigration legislation for next year, when the GOP controls both houses, that targets border security and calls on the president to enforce existing laws, the political news website said.
It was also suggested that two separate funding bills be introduced — a short-term bill with strict restrictions on immigration enforcement, and a second piece of legislation that would fund the rest of the government until the fall.
The proposals are all aimed at preventing another confrontation with Democrats similar to the one that resulted in the government being shutdown in October of last year, which proved to be a political setback for the GOP at the time.
"I think there is a growing momentum to the idea that Congress would be acting responsibly and modestly if it funds the government but simply bars the president from executing policies that Congress believes shouldn’t be executed by denying funding," said Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, who will chair the Senate Budget Committee next year.
The funding bill is due to be passed by a Dec. 11 deadline, while it is not known when Obama plans to issue his executive order on amnesty for illegal immigrants.
"If the president exceeds his constitutional power, we need to be reserved in our response," said California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, according to Politico. "I would rather wait until the Senate is with us next year to respond to what the president does.
"I personally would like an omnibus with appropriate reforms. There are things proactively we can do, but if I had my choice, we would do a sensible bill for the whole year."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Monday that although he’s been having "productive conversations" with Boehner, he feared that the speaker would not be able to control the conservatives in his party.
"The question is whether the Republican leaders will be able to stand up to the radical forces within their own party,"” Reid said on the Senate floor.
"It’s a large number of members of the Republican caucus over here and, of course, the Republican caucus in the House."
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