Despite criticism from his party’s conservative wing that House Leadership’s government funding plan does not got far enough to combat President Obama’s executive amnesty, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) argues that the current strategy has the “best chance for success.”
“I think we’ve laid out a reasonable course of action, suggested by our members. We did a lot of listening,” Boehner told reporters Thursday. “This didn’t just happen overnight. I didn’t just wake up and have this idea in my head. We worked with an awful lot of our members and frankly I’m pretty comfortable with where we are.”
By next week, the House must pass a government funding measure to keep the government open beyond Dec. 11.
Boehner’s proposal is to fund most of the government through September 2015, except for the Department of Homeland Security. DHS would only receive short-term funding, in order to allow the newly-elected Congress to take up the fight against unilateral amnesty. The approach has been dubbed a “crominbus” — a combination of the word “omnibus” with “CR” or “continuing resolution.”
“Next week the House will work to keep 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 explained.
The Speaker stressed that the current plan of attack has been based on “numerous” conversations with members and argues that he believes “it gives us the best chance for success.”
Addressing critiques from more conservative members that House leadership’s plan is not aggressive enough Boehner reiterated: “We think this is the most practical way to fight the president’s actions and frankly we listened to our members and we listened to some members who are frankly griping the most. This was their idea of how to proceed.”
He added that he does expect to “have bipartisan support to pass the omnibus appropriation bill.”
Of some members’ ideas of more aggressive tactics, including not inviting Obama to deliver a State of the Union address next year, Boehner said, “Listen: the more the president talks about his ideas, the more unpopular he becomes. Why would I want to deprive him of that opportunity?”
Shortly before Boehner spoke to reporters, the conservative Heritage Action announced it would be scoring next week’s funding vote.
“Heritage Action will key vote against the bill unless it contains legislative language that stops the implementation of the President’s unlawful amnesty program,” the group’s Dan Holler said in a statement.
Boehner told reporters that he does not foresee any more changes to the funding plan.
“I do know this: come January, we’ll have a Republican House and a Republican Senate and we’ll be in a stronger position to take actions,” he said.