Republicans have virtually given up the battle against President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration, according to Politico
A small group of outspoken conservatives are still hoping to pressure Obama to rescind his order that prevents millions of illegal immigrants from being deported.
But, in general, the GOP has backed away from the battle after they caved in earlier this year in a showdown over Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding while attempting to force Obama to reverse his immigration policy.
With Democrats holding firm, the GOP capitulated on the eve of a Homeland Department shutdown in the funding fight, according to the political news website.
"The avenue that we took last time was a losing battle, and we knew it was a losing battle going into it," said Texas GOP Rep. John Carter, who is the author of this year's DHS funding bill.
"There might be other things we can figure out. We're putting our heads together on that — but it won't be what we did last time because what we did last time won't win."
With a judge temporarily halting Obama's immigration order and with the GOP far short of the 60 votes they needed to advance the legislation, Republican leaders are moving on to other priorities that can win bipartisan support, such as congressional deals on trade, cybersecurity and Iran, Politico reported.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told Politico that the GOP would have to reach some middle ground with Democrats on government funding.
"What will happen is the bills will start out the way we like them. In order to move them, we'll probably have to make compromises," McConnell said. "That's the way the legislative process works when it's functioning."
Obama's order, issued in November, would give relief from deportation
to around 5 million undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or of permanent legal residents.
In February, a federal judge temporarily blocked the executive action on immigration, saying the ruling underscores assertions that the president acted beyond his authority.
Ruling in favor of about two dozen U.S. states opposed to the plan, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen
in Brownsville, Texas, said the administration had not complied with procedure.
Led by Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, the Lone Star State sued the administration to halt its immigration programs, arguing that Obama's orders violated constitutional limits on his powers. And the states requested an injunction to block the programs from going into force while the legal process played out.
A ruling from the 5th Circuit is expected soon, and the case could then go to the Supreme Court, according to Politico.
Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said the immigration battle should not be centered around the DHS as it was previously, adding, "I think the courts will decide in our favor."
And Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota, who chairs the Homeland Security appropriations subcommittee in the Senate, said, "I think first we have to see what happens with the court case."
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