By Justin Sink - 08/27/14 03:07 PM EDT
President Obama won't be deterred from taking executive action on immigration despite threats from some congressional Republicans to force a government shutdown, the White House said Wednesday.
Asked if threats from Republicans would make the president "think twice" on his plans for executive action, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said flatly, "no, it won't.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told the Des Moines Register on Wednesday that "all bets are off" on a continuing resolution this fall if the president moved forward on immigration.
"If the president wields his pen and commits that unconstitutional act to legalize millions, I think that becomes something that is nearly political nuclear," King said. "I think the public would be mobilized and galvanized and that changes the dynamic of any continuing resolution and how we might deal with that."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have also suggested the GOP could use the budget process to halt administrative actions being contemplated by the White House.
Earnest said it "would be a real shame if Republicans were to engage in an effort to shut down the government" over the president's attempts to address immigration reform, noting that the shutdown last year had a negative impact on the economy.
The president is expected to unveil his administration’s steps on immigration by the "end of summer.” White House officials, though, insist no final decisions have been made yet.
The administration is reportedly considering a dramatic expansion of the number of individuals who can receive green cards or who would be eligible for the deferred action program that pauses deportation proceedings for those who have entered the country illegally.