The White House sounds ready to call the GOP's bluff on President Barack Obama's immigration action.
GOP leaders are suggesting the real fight will happen next year, when the Homeland Security funding in the "cromnibus" — what makes it a cromnibus and not just a plain old omnibus — expires in February. But the prospect of Republicans shutting down the Department of Homeland Security — including the Border Patrol — in retaliation for Obama's temporary executive amnesty strikes the White House as unlikely, to say the least.
"I would be surprised if Republicans take the position that they are going to withhold funding from border security, from people who are conducting criminal background checks, from other elements of our federal government that are critical to homeland security, just in protest over the president taking an executive action that is consistent with the kind of actions that Democratic and Republican presidents have taken in the past," Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.
Earnest's statement isn't far off from conservatives like Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who have ripped the omnibus for not blocking the executive amnesty now.
King and other conservatives have expressed doubts that Republican leaders would fight in two months when they are punting now.
The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.