House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) promised rank-and-file Republicans that they would fight President Obama’s administrative amnesty next year, blaming the decision to pass a $1.1 trillion funding bill in the lame-duck session on Senate Republicans.
A CRomnibus bill that funds most of government for a year but keeps the Department of Homeland Security on a continuing resolution that expires on February 27 was filed last night.
“Boehner got up and said ‘look, we are going to fight this immigration thing but, now is not the right time to do it,’” a GOP congressman who attended the Wednesday morning conference meeting told National Review Online. Next year, “everything is on the table. maybe we do a funding limitation, maybe we attach a border security bill,” Boehner assured the conference, according to the lawmaker.
The top House Republican emphasized that the Republican takeover of the Senate would strengthen their ability to fight Obama. “Without a threat of a government shutdown, this sets up a direct challenge to the president’s unilateral actions on immigration when we have new majorities in both chambers of Congress,” as he put it to reporters after the conference meeting.
That point elicited pushback during the meeting from rank-and-file members who, having failed to convince leadership to pass a bill in the lame-duck that withholds funding for the president’s orders, hoped Republicans would settle on a short-term continuing resolution for all of government that would expire early next year.
“If the cavalry is coming, why don’t we just punt it into January and let’s do all of it so that we have more leverage?” the lawmakers asked, according to the GOP source.
Boehner put the onus on Senate Republicans. “He said that the Senate GOP preferred an omnibus now — that they didn’t want to have to deal with the funding next year, even though they’ll be in the majority,” the congressman told NRO. “He said that their argument to him was that it will crowd out what they need to be doing.”
A Senate leadership aide emphasized that they would be able to fight Obama’s orders using the appropriation process next year.
“[W]e will be doing approps next year,” the aide wrote in an email to NRO. ”Next year’s approps PLUS the DHS approps (we are only doing a CR on that department so that we can take up the immigration issue under Republican leadership).”