New GOP plan floated on immigration

The incoming chairman of the House Budget Committee is pushing GOP leaders to pursue a government funding measure that would only fund immigration-related services for a couple of months, a GOP congressional aide told The Hill. 

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) calls his proposal the “cromnibus,” because it is a combination of a long-term omnibus spending bill and a short-term continuing resolution.

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The bill would fund most of the government through September 2015, like an omnibus, but would only fund immigration-related services for a few months.

Price sees it as a way to avoid a government shutdown, while blocking President Obama’s executive action on immigration.

House Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Hing acknowledged that Price's proposal had been one of the options floated in the last few weeks. 

An aide to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) could not confirm whether GOP leaders will actually pursue Price's idea; the Georgia Republican is considered close to leadership. 

It’s unclear whether Price’s proposal would prevent a government shutdown.

The bill would first have to pass the House, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested in a statement Tuesday that Democrats wouldn't give in to a spending plan that is meant to attack Obama's immigration actions. 

“House Democrats have fought against Republican attempts to shut down the government. Now, House Republicans are seeking to disguise their efforts, threatening our national security in order to undermine the President’s clear legal authority. We will not be enablers to a Republican Government Shutdown, partial or otherwise,” she said. 

The measure would also have to be approved by the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats until next year. They could refuse to move a bill that does not fund the entire government through September, though that could set up a game over which party would be blamed for a shutdown.

Republicans have repeatedly lost that public relations battle, however, which has made party leaders gun-shy about anything that could lead to a shutdown.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has flat out said that there will not be a government shutdown. 

The House Appropriations Committee plans to unveil its spending package the week of Dec. 8, giving lawmakers in both chambers just a day or two to debate and vote on it before a Dec. 11 deadline to pass legislation to keep the government open. 

Just before lawmakers left Washington for Thanksgiving, the GOP-led House Appropriations Committee put out a statement that said defunding the immigration orders would be “impossible” because the agency that would implement them is self-funded through fees and not through congressional appropriations. 

Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said Congress would have to pass a new authorization bill that would shift the funding authority to lawmakers.