Right turns fire on McConnell

Right turns fire on McConnell
© Greg Nash
McConnell announced earlier in the day that the Senate would vote on a "clean" bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security past Friday, as well as a separate measure freezing President Obama's November executive actions to shield certain illegal immigrants from deportation.
Members of the GOP right said McConnell's move essentially amounted to giving in to Democrats' refusal to consider legislation undoing the president's immigration actions.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said he "absolutely" won't vote for a DHS funding bill that allows the November actions to go forward. He suggested freshman GOP senators failed to deliver on campaign promises.
"If I was a donor to some of these senators that just won election and was told things would be different in a new Senate, I'd be pretty pissed. We put Harry Reid back in charge of the Senate again?" Huelskamp said.
Huelskamp said that separating the bill freezing the executive actions from a must-pass DHS funding bill eliminates Republicans' leverage over Democrats.
"It's stupid. It doesn't go anywhere. He knows that," Huelskamp said of McConnell's proposal. "Does he take us all for a fool that somehow that's going to solve the problem that he was going to fight tooth and nail against?"
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) warned that House GOP conservatives wouldn't warm to McConnell's proposal.
"The Senate Majority Leader's plan to divorce the funding bill from the unlawful actions it is restricting is tantamount to surrender, and won't meet with support in the People's House," Salmon said in a statement.
Firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) released a statement calling McConnell's latest strategy a "mistake."
"Leadership's current plan — to pass clean DHS funding and separate legislation barring executive amnesty — is a mistake," Cruz said. "Congress is obliged to use every constitutional check and balance we have to rein in President Obama's lawlessness, and that includes both our confirmation authority over nominees and the power of the purse."
And Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) suggested GOP senators were no longer objecting to funding the executive actions.
"A federal court in Texas has halted Pres. Obama's lawless power grab, but many Senators want to fund it anyway," Paul tweeted.
House members who were only just returning to Washington on Tuesday night after last week's congressional recess were still scrutinizing the latest proposal.
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) he hasn't seen the details of McConnell's plan. But when asked whether he could support a clean DHS bill, he laughed and said, "Oh, no."
Other House Republicans are inclined to vote for a DHS funding bill without immigration riders to avoid a shutdown, given that the Texas judge's order has temporarily frozen the November action.
"Every now and then, you need to call a win a win. We've won, okay? And the president's been stopped. Let's not continue the exercise when there's nothing to be gained and a great deal to be lost," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.).
- Mike Lillis contributed.