Can House Republicans stay on immigration script?
WASHINGTON (AP):After declaring President Barack Obama's new policy on deportations "null and void", House Republicans are ready to fund the federal government before a Thursday deadline without additional immigration-related controversy, adjourn for the year, and await a new, GOP-controlled Senate in January.
If so, it would mark a rare occasion since a tea party-heavy Republican majority took over four years ago that Plan A went according to script. Last year's partial government shutdown, higher tax rates for millions enacted in 2012, and a humbling 2011 surrender on payroll taxes are evidence of that.
Nor is there any certainty Republicans will force Obama to back down, even if they do stick to the path they are on.
"We think this is the most practical way to fight the president's action," Speaker John Boehner recently told reporters, stopping short of predicting success.
For better or worse, the strategy has three parts.
The first is to approve symbolic legislation that declares Obama's order to shield millions of immigrants from deportation to be "null and void and without legal effect". That was accomplished on Thursday on a vote of 219-197.
The second is to approve funding for the Department of Homeland Security through February or March without tying it to any immediate change in immigration policy, while also funding the rest of the government through the September 30 end of the budget year. Without action, most agencies will run out of money Thursday at midnight.
The third is to mount a fresh challenge to Obama's immigration policy after the new, Republican-controlled Senate takes office in January.