Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona is pushing his Republican colleagues to try to block the president from using executive action on immigration, but his plan is likely to hit strong resistance from House leaders.
The federal government is currently funded through a continuing resolution that runs out at midnight on December 11. Salmon, echoing similar calls from Republican senators Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Mike Lee of Utah, proposes that Congress pass a bill that would fund the government until early next year. If the president moves ahead with his executive amnesty, the expiring continuing resolution would give Republicans an opportunity to block funding for the president's action after both houses of Congress are under Republicans’ control.
But that plan has a tough road ahead. Republican leadership in the House is eager to pass a spending bill through the 2015 fiscal year before the start of the new Congress. Members from both parties on both sides of the Capitol began formally meeting last Tuesday to negotiate the details of an omnibus spending bill. The omnibus bill is part of what the Washington Post refers to as a “host of critical measures” Democrats hope to pass before relinquishing their majority in the Senate.
An aide to House appropriations chairman Hal Rogers of Kentucky says the omnibus bill will likely come to the floor the week of December 8.
“It is my chairman’s strong view that we need to complete this critical appropriations work, which is already months behind schedule, in order to ‘clear the decks’ and get off to a running start in the next Congress, instead of getting bogged down in old work,” the aide tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
And House majority leader Kevin McCarthy has said he favors passing a long-term spending bill in the lame-duck session. “If we are fortunate to have both majorities, take away any cliff you can have hanging out there,” McCarthy told Politico last month. “Why put cliffs up that hold us back from doing bigger policy?”
McCarthy, Speaker John Boehner, and other Republican leaders are reportedly “urging” President Obama to drop his plans to issue an executive order on immigration. McCarthy and Boehner have both warned the president publicly that a unilateral amnesty for illegal immigrants would “erase any chances of doing immigration reform.”
Republican leaders in both the House and Senate have not yet outlined a strategy for addressing any possible immigration executive orders. The House and the Senate will reconvene on Wednesday.