Following a closed-door meeting described as passionate but not contentious, Republicans are poised to move forward on a two-step response to President Obama’s executive action, but they are still haggling over the details.
As early as this week, the GOP will move on a bill introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) to explicitly deny the authority to declare whole categories of people immune from prosecution under immigration law. Next week, they are likely to move forward on a spending bill that carves out immigration-related funding, only providing it a short extension.
But the length of that extension was the most vigorously discussed part of the closed-door session, with conservatives raising concerns about leadership’s proposal to extend funding until March, saying that would be too long.
“The problem I have…is that the [immigration portion] would be funded until the end of March. I think that’s way too long. The president is already printing work permits as we speak. Why do we want to give him another 2-3 months? We could vote on this the day we get back,” said Rep. John Fleming (R-LA).
Speaker John Boehner told reporters after the meeting that no decisions had been made.
“The president on the other hand has ignored the will of the American people and he has refused to listen. His decision to take unilateral action on immigration — actions he himself has said exceeded his authority — and makes it harder for the American people and their elected representatives to trust his word on anything,” Boehner said.
“We’re looking at a variety of options, both right now and when Republicans control both Houses of Congress next year,” he added.