House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters today that the lower chamber will focus next week on keeping the government open “while keeping our leverage so that when we have reinforcements in the Senate, we’re in the strongest position to take additional actions to fight the president’s unilateral actions.”
Boehner wants to pass long-term funding of all departments except Homeland Security, which would receive short-term funding and punt immigration to the spring.
He argues that the best way to confront President Obama’s executive action is when the GOP has a majority in the Senate.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), meanwhile, is lobbying House conservatives to go the shutdown route a la 2013.
“The simple thing that I would urge to every Republican who spent the last year campaigning across this country saying ‘If you elect me, we will stop President Obama’s amnesty,’ do what you promised,” Cruz said at a rally on the Hill yesterday. “Doing what you promised doesn’t mean, as it so often does in Washington, sending a really stern letter and having a meaningless show vote.”
The House is voting on the Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014, a bill from Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) to block Obama’s action. The Office of Management and Budget issued a veto threat today.
“The bill’s objective is clearly to nullify and block implementation of these executive actions, which would have devastating consequences,” the OMB statement said. “…The President’s actions will increase accountability in the Nation’s broken immigration system while he continues to urge the Congress to finish the job and pass commonsense immigration reform that offers meaningful solutions to the broken system.”
Boehner said that the short-term funding course of action “is based on numerous conversations with our members and I frankly think it gives us the best chance for success.”
“…And we listened to some members who were, frankly, griping the most. This was their idea of how to proceed.”
Boehner said he expected “bipartisan support” for the plan, as well.
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) said the short-term DHS funding would be damaging.
“A stop-gap funding measure would create harmful ripple effects for state and local governments who receive support from the Department for emergency response and law enforcement needs,” Carper said in a statement. “The Secret Service would be unable to move forward with new training and the hiring of additional Secret Service agents – something that Congress called on the agency to do just a few months ago. It would also hurt the Department’s efforts to bring on more Border Patrol agents and other resources to stem the flow of migrants crossing the border and to fund new border surveillance technology.”
Boehner also argued that the 114th Congress will be a better time to chip away at Obamacare.
“Listen, we have worked and voted and voted and voted to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. It’s hurting families, it’s raising cost, and it’s frankly wrecking the best health care delivery system the world has ever known,” he said.
“And so we’ve — we’ve put an awful lot of effort in it. I haven’t gotten very far. But again, come January, we’re going to have a Republican House and a Republican Senate, and we’ll be in a stronger position to deal with not just only the issue of the president violating the Constitution, but in a stronger position to deal with the Affordable Care Act.”
When asked if he planned on not inviting Obama to address the nation in the State of the Union address, Boehner replied, “Listen, the more the president talks about his ideas, the more unpopular he becomes. Why would I want to deprive him of that opportunity?”