Republican lawmakers have the leverage of another possible government shutdown to use against President Barack Obama if he decides to use executive action to legalize undocumented immigrants, Rep. Steve King says.
The Iowa Republican told the Des Moines Register
"all bets are off" on a continuing resolution next month if Obama pulls an end-around Congress to deal with immigration issues.
"If the president wields his pen and commits that unconstitutional act to legalize millions, I think that becomes something that is nearly political nuclear," King said.
"I think the public would be mobilized and galvanized and that changes the dynamic of any continuing resolution and how we might deal with that."
Congress has to act before the end of September to either approve a budget or continue spending at current levels to avoid a government shutdown.
King told the Register that if the president goes it alone
on immigration, House-passed legislation on border security, including rolling back the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals order, "becomes a requirement" for a continuing resolution.
But King thinks the continuing resolution is a solid bargaining chip for the GOP on other issues too.
"When we hear some of our leaders say there will be no government shutdown, that's the political equivalent of saying there will be no boots on the ground," he told the Register.
The White House dismissed the threat of a government shutdown.
Asked if the administration would "think twice" about taking taking executive action on immigration in light of a government shutdown threat, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said flatly, "no, it won't," The Hill reports.
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