Sessions wants to block immigration move

Republicans should push for a short-term bill funding the government to give them the option of blocking any executive order from President Obama on immigration, Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff Sessions3 ways the next president can succeed on immigration reform Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears Trump, Clinton discuss counterterrorism with Egyptian president MORE (R-Ala.) said Wednesday.

Sessions, who may become the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee in January, wants to stop Obama's promised executive action by withholding funds that would be meant for law enforcement officers to process people in the United States illegally into lawful status.

He argues a short-term funding bill, rather than an omnibus spending bill that would run through September 2015, would better position Republicans to block Obama. 

“Sen. Reid shouldn’t be entitled to bind the country next year when we got a new Congress so I think that would be smart for a whole lot of reasons,” Sessions told reporters after delivering a speech on the budget.

House Republicans and Senate Democrats are moving forward with plans for an omnibus bill. Republican leaders in both chambers see the strategy as allowing the party to clear the decks, allowing the new Congress to focus on the budget fight for fiscal 2016. 

Lawmakers need to pass a new funding bill by Dec. 11 or risk a government shutdown. 

Sessions would not say whether he would filibuster an omnibus spending bill if it doesn't include language blocking executive action on immigration by Obama, but said, “I don’t know how we would play that out.” 

“I think it’s something to pursue,” Sessions added. “The votes this year could be problematic because of the Democratic majority, but who knows in the future that this could be stopped.”

Sessions is now the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee. Sen. Mike EnziMike EnziRestive GOP freshmen eye entitlement reform Overnight Energy: Obama integrates climate change into national security planning Senate panel approves pension rescue for coal miners MORE (R-Wyo.) is weighing a possible challenge to Sessions becoming the chairman next year, but he is considering other committees as well. 

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatty MurrayElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Congress approves .1B in Zika funds Lawmakers pledge push for cures bill in lame-duck MORE (D-Wash.) suggested Wednesday that Sessions is advocating a strategy Republicans argue against. 

“My Republican colleagues often say they don’t want to kick the can down the road when it comes to the budget—but that’s exactly what a stopgap spending bill this December would mean,” Murray said.

“Families and businesses want to see us building on the bipartisan budget deal reached last year and working together to provide certainty for our economy, and I hope Republican leadership can continue to push the Tea Party aside to make sure that happens,” she added.

In a recent op-ed, Sessions wrote that Congress should block any executive order Obama issues on immigration by using its power of the purse. 

On Tuesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in an interview that Obama is “looking forward” to taking action on immigration, which Obama has said he would do by the end of the year.

This story was updated at 3:00 p.m.