Tags: Barack Obama | Immigration | Tea Party | amnesty | GOP | shutdown | House

Boehner Hopes to Quash Rebellion in Ranks Over Amnesty

By    |   Monday, 01 Dec 2014 09:06 AM

As Congress reconvenes to consider a spending bill to keep the government running, House Speaker John Boehner and his fellow Republican leaders are working to quell the threat of a rebellion by furious conservative lawmakers who are inclined to force a showdown in response to the president's executive action on immigration, The New York Times reported.

Since the party's landmark victories in the midterm elections, the leadership has been emphasizing the importance of unity, but some conservatives believe that the only way to roll back the president's immigration plans is to defund them, a move that would set in motion an almost certain government shutdown.

Boehner has tried to convince party members that Republicans would suffer most from the political fallout of such a course.

"Shutting down the entire government over something never did make sense to the American people, still doesn't and won't in the future," Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, told the Times.

As Boehner approaches his third term, his legacy risks being defined by partisan infighting and Washington gridlock even as he reigns over a historic majority.

"He's never wanted to just be speaker," Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican, told the Times. "He's wanted to be a historically significant speaker."

The possible showdown over the spending agreement could undermine the establishment's hope of setting a positive precedent to enact more legislation in cooperation with the White House in the coming months.

Nevertheless, Boehner's office has been quick to point out that it was the president's decision on immigration that has triggered the latest round of tensions.

"The president's unilateral action on immigration will make every issue more difficult," Kevin Smith, a spokesman for Boehner, told the Times.

"While the speaker is never going to give up on pushing for tax and entitlement reform because it is the right thing to do for our economy, he is realistic about what can be accomplished with this president."

Despite the new fissures in the party, some say members are more committed than in the past to minimizing public disagreements.

"Over the last several months I have seen us become a lot more cohesive than we have been in the past, and it is a good time to have that happen," Texas Rep. Bill Flores, told the Times, adding that he believes there are fewer differences between the leadership and rank-and-file conservatives.

Meanwhile, after Boehner's failure to head off the government shutdown last year, Democrats say they have little faith that he will be able to command his conference in the months ahead.

"He always says he would like to do something more, but can't deliver," Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen told the Times.

"I hope I am wrong, but I don't see that changing. He has more members, but the tea party still holds sway in his caucus."

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House Speaker John Boehner and Republican leaders are working to quell the threat of a rebellion by furious conservative lawmakers inclined to force a showdown in response to the president's executive action on immigration, The New York Times reports.
amnesty, GOP, shutdown, House, Boehner, executive action, funding government
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2014-06-01
Monday, 01 Dec 2014 09:06 AM
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