Archive

ShareThis Page
GOP divided on detour map for executive order | TribLIVE.com
News

GOP divided on detour map for executive order

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — There’s no doubt President Obama will issue executive orders changing immigration policy — the only question is when.

Obama, speaking to reporters in Myanmar, said he will act on immigration because congressional Republicans haven’t.

“There has been ample opportunity for Congress to pass a bipartisan immigration bill that would strengthen our borders, improve the legal immigration system and lift millions of people out of the shadows,” Obama said.

“I said that if, in fact, Congress failed to act, I would use all the lawful authority I possess to try to make the system work better … and that’s going to happen before the end of the year,” he said.

House Republicans debated Friday how to respond to a series of executive actions that is likely to grant legal status to millions of migrants in the country illegally. GOP leaders are anxious to craft a solution that satisfies the demands of their most conservative members without courting a government shutdown.

Options under consideration include suing the president to overturn his action, passing a stand-alone bill to try to stop him or a lawsuit. Some are pushing for House Republicans to write their own immigration bill — something they’ve been unable to do in the past two years — to show they are serious about acting and pre-empt Obama.

But it’s not clear that any of these options will be enough to deflate efforts brewing among conservatives to use upcoming must-pass spending bills to block Obama from acting. Pragmatists in the caucus are warning loudly that such an approach could result in a government shutdown because Obama would likely veto the bill. But at least some on the right appear unconcerned.

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said he refused to “take a position we’re not going to use the power of the purse to restrain a president who has threatened to violate the Constitution in the most obscene manner possible.”

As for shutdown fears, King pointed to the GOP’s success in last week’s midterms as evidence that the party wasn’t hurt by the last government shutdown it provoked. That was a year ago, in an unsuccessful effort to “defund” Obama’s health care law.

“We picked up beaucoup seats in the House and won the vast majority in the Senate. Where’s the political penalty for doing the right and just and responsible thing?” King said.

Many Republicans, though, are determined to avoid a shutdown, convinced they would pay a political price.

“Shutting the government down would only serve the president’s interests and we shouldn’t take the bait. We Republicans shouldn’t take the bait,” said Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa.

But some Republicans say they should act now to deprive Obama of that argument, although immigration advocates have little hope of the House arriving at a bill that could pass the Senate and that Obama would sign.

“Right now, if he does this and makes all these declarations of the House won’t do anything and yada yada yada, what’s our response? You’re right, we haven’t done anything,” said Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho. “Our only defense is we are working on it.”

Obama’s announcement could occur as early as next week.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.