House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, left open the possibility Thursday that House Republicans might risk a lapse in government funding next month — otherwise known as a shutdown — in order to stop President Barack Obama from using his authority to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.
The New York Times reported earlier today that President Obama plans to take that action as early as next week. Boehner, asked by a reporter if he supported tying legislative language that prevented President Obama from taking action alone on immigration policy to a must-pass government funding bill, wouldn’t rule it out.
“Our goal here is to stop the president from violating his own oath of office and violating the constitution, it’s not to shut down the government,” Boehner said just hours after being reelected by his colleagues as the leader of his party in the House.
“All options are on the table.”
Congress must approve money to keep the federal government functioning by mid-December. If Republicans in Congress attach immigration policy language to a bill to fund the government, it could trigger a new government shutdown, provided President Obama refuses to sign such a bill.
Leaders of the House Democrats, for their part, urged President Obama to act on his own.
“This is about helping people. This is about doing what, from a humanitarian standpoint and moral standpoint, is right. This is about doing what is economically for our country what is right,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Thursday.
Disagreement between President Obama and Congressional Republicans over the president’s signature health care law led to a government shutdown in October 2013.