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Labrador: Shutdown Didn't Hurt GOP, Why Take It Off Table?

Labrador, center, thinks a government shutdown can be a tool to block Obama's immigration action. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Raúl R. Labrador has a message for Republican leadership as they decide how to respond to the president's executive action on immigration and funding the government beyond Dec. 11: Keep a government shutdown as an option.  

"I don't think anything is off the table," Labrador told reporters at the Capitol Tuesday. "I don't think anybody is thinking about a shutdown, but, in negotiations, you never take anything off the table. That's the first rule of negotiating, and apparently it's not one that's been learned in Washington, D.C."  

Asked if leaders are too “gun shy" about a government shutdown, the Idaho Republican was clear.  

“I think they are and I don't understand why," he said. "We had a shutdown a year ago, and we just got the biggest majority we’ve ever had in the House since 1928, and one of the largest majorities we’ve ever had in the Senate. So I don’t understand their reasoning for taking anything off the table."  

Labrador said GOP leadership was "very good" at kicking the can down the road. "But they never tell us once we get the can again, what's going to be the next fight," he said.  

The conservative lawmaker, of course, has long criticized  Speaker John A. Boehner and others for their immigration stance.  

Members are calling leaders out for what they see as a chasm between tough talk against President Barack Obama's immigration move and what Republicans actually are doing to prevent it.  

Labrador said Rep. Ron DeSantis of Florida told the Conference Tuesday that the rhetoric on the executive action and the Republican efforts to block it just don't match. "And it's impossible for us to tell the American people that we're serious about this when we're not doing anything that is serious," Labrador said.  

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