Republicans aren't going to shut down the government over President Barack Obama's immigration order, House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul said Sunday, "but we are going to shut down this president and his actions."
But impeachment and other issues, including the constitutionality of the president's order, will need to be determined by the courts, McCaul told CBS "Face the Nation"
host Bob Schieffer.
"There are various lawsuits," said McCaul, pointing out that in his home state of Texas, Attorney General Greg Abbott, who was become governor after the first of the year, has filed a lawsuit against Obama's action.
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"The courts will decide that issue," said McCaul, "[but I] want to make one thing very clear. We're not going to shut the government down. But we are going to shut down this president and his actions as it pertains to granting amnesty to five million people."
There are several options for reaching that goal, McCaul said, including the "power of the purse" to stop it in the short term.
But in the long term, McCaul believes "it's incumbent" for Republicans to come up for their own "positive, constructive agenda," which could lead with his committee's border security bill.
"We have to get that security piece done to have intelligent immigration reform, but that is not being done right now," said McCaul.
He's also worried that another large wave of illegal immigrants will arrive as they did in 1986, when then-President Ronald Reagan and Congress enacted
a sweeping overhaul that gave legal status to up to 3 million illegal immigrants if they had come to the U.S. before 1982.
"There is cause and effect," he said. "It did result in people crossing the Rio Grande sector in my state. We want to do this methodically, smart, starting with border security then looking at immigration reform measures."
But any Republican changes likely won't happen during the lame duck session, when "we have to figure out how we're going to keep the government open," said McCaul. "[Obama] circumvented the Congress, and the will of the American people."
McCaul said that first, a border security bill is needed, and then a law on immigration reform.
"We're going to have divisions, but most of us understand that we have now been given mandate to govern, to pass things out of Congress...but there are leaders in our Congress what are willing to fix a broken system," he concluded.
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