Former House speaker Newt Gingrich told radio host Laura Ingraham Tuesday that if President Barack Obama proceeds to amnesty thousands of illegal immigrants through executive order, Republicans should make the case against such a move the party's "number one" campaign issue for the 2014 midterm elections.

"The Republicans have an easy political answer, which is to say that, 'The election of 2014 is a referendum,'" Gingrich said. "[If you think] the President of the United States should allow millions and millions of people—as many he wants, in the end—to come into the United States and to be legal residents by fiat of his pen, vote Democrat. If you want the rule of law and the American Constitution applied, vote Republican.'"

Gingrich added that if Obama does issue the executive orders he would expect the Republican-led House of Representatives to pass a bill that "repudiates" the president's action within days of their return from the August recess. "The challenge then will be for every single Democrat up for election in the Senate: Are you going along with Harry Reid and Barack Obama and get defeated, or are you going to vote to overturn them? So, I think he may be creating a civil war in his own party if he does this," he said.

Meanwhile, Republican senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama spoke on the Senate floor Tuesday against the "planned executive amnesty" and urged citizens to ask their senators whether or not they support a House-led effort to block excessive executive action on immigration.

"The Senate cannot be allowed to surrender to the president’s lawlessness. It cannot. I am calling today on every Senator to support this bill, and to demand Majority Leader Reid call it up for a vote," Sessions said. Read all of his prepared remarks here, or watch it below:

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