A House Democratic leader said early Thursday that expected executive action on immigration could be a “forcing action” that gets House Republicans to pass some type of immigration reform.

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“It may give Speaker BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFrom learning on his feet to policy director Is Congress retrievable? Boehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush MORE the opportunity to say to his members, ‘Look, the president’s signed the executive order, but that’s not permanent law, and we can change that, and we can make the law if we pass a comprehensive bill,’ ” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on MSNBC.

He also said a larger House majority might ease some of the gridlock that has plagued the congress in recent years.

“Speaker Boehner has a larger working majority, so a small group of people will be less able to hold him hostage to an ideologically rigid standard,” Hoyer said.

Hoyer spoke as the president is said to be preparing a 10-point executive order on immigration. It is expected to expand eligibility for the White House’s deferred action program, which allows immigrants in the country illegally to gain temporary legal status and avoid deportation. A similar program is currently in place for migrants who arrived illegally in the U.S. as children.

Boehner and other Republicans have said that, if the president signs an order on immigration, it would “poison the well” for future cooperation between the White House and Congress. Some opponents of comprehensive reform have pushed for a more piecemeal approach in which each individual solution to the problems plaguing the system would be considered as a separate bill.