House conservatives warn Boehner: Don't cave on immigration

House conservatives warn Boehner: Don't cave on immigration
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Conservative Republicans have a message for House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLongtime House parliamentarian to step down Five things we learned from this year's primaries Bad blood between Pelosi, Meadows complicates coronavirus talks MORE: You’ve stood up to President Obama’s immigration policies so far. Don’t cave now.

More than 20 conservative House members have signed onto a letter urging Boehner (R-Ohio) and his leadership team to continue fighting Obama’s executive actions on immigration, even as it threatens to shut down the Homeland Security Department at the end of the week.


“Now is the time to stand firm against these unlawful executive actions,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter, which is being circulated by Rep. Jeff DuncanJeffrey (Jeff) Darren DuncanGOP lawmaker calls for Confederate portrait to be put back in Capitol Rep. Banks launches bid for RSC chairman Republicans push for help for renewable energy, fossil fuel industries MORE (R-S.C.) and will be sent later this week to Boehner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy threatens motion to oust Pelosi if she moves forward with impeachment Kate Schroder in Ohio among Democratic challengers squelching GOP hopes for the House McCarthy's Democratic challenger to launch first TV ad highlighting Air Force service as single mother MORE (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).

Last month, the House passed a $40 billion bill funding DHS through September but tied it to GOP amendments defunding Obama’s unilateral actions shielding up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. But the bill went nowhere in the Senate, raising the prospects of a shutdown at the agency on Saturday.

The conservatives’ letter didn’t reference a new plan by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to split apart DHS funding and GOP efforts to gut Obama’s immigration actions into two separate bills.

Instead, the letter warned GOP leaders that a federal judge’s ruling that Obama’s immigration moves were unconstitutional should not be seen as an escape hatch from the funding standoff. An appellate court could overturn the ruling, which is being appealed by the Obama administration.

“[W]e must remember that these decisions are subject to review by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court of the United States, and the ultimate fate of the President’s executive action remains in question,” they wrote.

“For this reason, the Legislative Branch has a responsibility to use its exclusive and constitutionally-granted authority to prevent the President’s unlawful usurpation of power, without waiting for a final interpretation from the Judicial Branch,” the letter continued. “District Court rulings can be overturned, but the power of the purse is absolute.

House lawmakers return to Washington for votes Tuesday night after a weeklong recess; Republicans will huddle in a private caucus meeting Wednesday morning to discuss their options.

In addition to Duncan, at least 20 other Republicans have signed the letter: Reps. Tom McClintock (Calif.), Ryan Zinke (Mont.), Steve King (Iowa), Louie Gohmert (Texas), John Fleming (La.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Jim Bridenstine (Okla.), Mick Mulvaney (S.C.), Ted Yoho (Fla.), Bradley Byrne (Ala.), Gary Palmer (Ala.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Curt Clawson (Wash.), Matt Salmon (Ariz.), Mark Sanford (S.C.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Dave Brat (Va.), Randy Weber (Texas), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), and Martha Roby (Ala.).