After achieving many big wins in the recent elections, Republicans are nevertheless having to make do with the forces they currently have in dealing with President Obama’s immigration transgressions before the new Congress takes office in January. Their plan, explained succinctly by AP reporter David Espo at Yahoo News, is this:
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 Sept. 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.
The government will run out of funds on Thursday the 11th, and since the Congress, as usual, is scurrying to close out the lame duck session and get home for the holidays, part #2 may happen as soon as next week. The text of the “cromnibus” budget bill (Part 2 in the sequence above) is expected to be made public today. This bill combines eleven separate appropriations bills that will fund the bulk of the government through the end of the current Federal fiscal year (September 30, 2015), along with a continuing resolution that will provide funding to continue the operations of the Department of Homeland Security only until next spring, March or so.