Before the full Republican Conference huddles together with House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday morning to discuss how to respond as a party to President Obama's executive action on immigration, some of the GOP's border hawks will meet to talk about how they want to proceed.
Members of the Congressional Border Security Caucus plan to meet early Tuesday to voice their own opinions on Obama's action. It's unclear how many members will attend or what, if any, plan they will rally around, but a spokesman for Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said there are more than 90 members in the Border Security Caucus.
Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama told National Journal that it would be the first time that conservative members will have a chance to formally discuss the executive action since it was announced more than a week ago.
Some of the most conservative voices in the House of Representatives have called on their leaders to include language in the upcoming funding bill that would force a confrontation with the White House over immigration funding sooner rather than later.
Other options conservatives have put forth include suing the president or censuring him, but most recognize those options are still difficult to carry out.
"I think we ought to use every weapon in our arsenal to stop the president's illegal conduct and protect American workers from job losses and wage suppression caused by the president's illegal actions," Brooks said.
Brooks said he's also been in communication with his home state senator and border hawk Jeff Sessions and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who has called on Republicans to block some of Obama's nominations until he rescinds his executive order.
While Boehner has promised to "fight tooth and nail" to stop Obama's executive action, House leaders are still undecided on what the best course of action is, and some rank-and-file Republicans worry the leaders' responses won't be strong enough. One strategy GOP leaders are eyeing is a plan to keep most of the government operating through September of next year. The House would then pass another shorter-term funding bill to pay for immigration agencies. That would kick a fiscal fight down the road a few months, until Republicans control the Senate.
Boehner is now stuck trying to balance the desires of rank-and-file members with a practical strategy. He will attempt to come up with a plan that illustrates the party's frustration with Obama while not risking a politically fraught government shutdown, for which a recent poll showed more Americans would blame the GOP.
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