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White House: Shutdown threat won’t deter executive action on immigration

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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.

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"The president is determined to act where House Republicans won't, and there is strong support for that all across the country," Earnest said.

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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHillicon Valley: GOP chairman says defense bill leaves out Section 230 repeal | Senate panel advances FCC nominee | Krebs says threats to election officials 'undermining democracy' On The Money: Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms | Pelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks | Poll: Most Americans support raising taxes on those making at least 0K Nearly one-third of US adults expect to lose employment income: Census Bureau MORE (R-Ky.) and Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP urges Trump not to tank defense bill over tech fight Pressure builds for coronavirus relief with no clear path to deal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Coast-to-coast fears about post-holiday COVID-19 spread MORE (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.