With President Barack Obama vowing to act without Congress on immigration and a top White House adviser all but daring Republicans to shut down the government, House Republicans are considering an option somewhere in the middle.
Bloomberg Government's Erik Wasson reports that House Republicans are privately discussing a strategy that would risk shutting down only a few government agencies.
The tactic–described as a backup plan by a person involved in the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity–would involve writing a full-year appropriations bill for most of the government and a temporary spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security, which processes immigration cases.
That way, the final decision about immigration spending in the current fiscal year would fall to the 114th Congress, with Republicans in control of both chambers. Republicans would be able to craft a partial-year bill that would bar the administration from spending money to implement Obama’s expected order.
If Obama didn't like that, he could veto the bill and allow the agency to run out of money. Then Republicans could blame him for shutting down part of the government.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers acknowledged that splitting the immigration slice out of the spending measure was one of several options being discussed. His spokeswoman, Jennifer Hing, is emphasizing Plan A—funding the whole government—rather than any Plan B, telling Wasson that there is "a full court press" for a complete, full-year budget.