Now that the Department of Homeland Security is funded, Republicans may be backing away from the battle over President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, with many saying that there are other pressing issues such as trade deals and the budget that now need their focus.
"At this point, we have a lot of other issues to do," Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins told Politico
, after she wrote legislation in hopes of blocking Obama's orders. "I think the issue of the president's overreach with his executive order of last November is probably going to end up being decided by the courts, and that's not a bad option."
Leadership aides said the Senate probably will not return to debate
on Collins' bill in upcoming weeks, but instead work on anti-trafficking legislation, discussing nominations, hammering out a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and possibly debating a bill on Iran.
House committees have been working on some immigration bills, Politico reports, but there has been no indication as to when they could be presented.
Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Aaron Schock and Bob Dold, all of Illinois, will attend an event in Chicago on Monday where they plan to push for a legislative overhaul that includes border security, and changes to the immigration system and the legal status of those already in the United States. Gov. Bruce Rauner and Sen. Mark Kirk are expected to attend the event as well.
There is likely more discussion coming over immigration in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has left open an option to stop Obama's order. Other Republican leaders, hoping not to alienate conservative interests, say they are not planning to completely abandon the issue.
"I think you'll see it in some form again, sooner or later. I just don't know when," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas told Politico. "We've got a lot of important stuff to do."
However, conservatives are not willing to let the matter slide, and while they have not yet announced a strategy to battle Obama's orders, they could once again include language to kill them in other bills, including singling out specific elements to target.
They could also use actions on Obama's orders to stymie key nominations. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz endorsed Collins' strategy, and has encouraged McConnell to block a confirmation vote on Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch.
But Collins said she is satisfied with letting the courts rule, although she still thinks "it's important for everyone to go on record on the issue, because it is our constitutional prerogatives that are being stepped all over."
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