Heritage Action urges opposition to funding bill

Heritage Action on Thursday urged House Republicans to vote against their leadership's plan to fund the government.

The conservative group said Republicans should oppose the measure to keep the government open unless it includes language directly blocking President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration.


“The fight is now, not next year. Americans expect real action, not a show vote,” said Mike Needham, Heritage Action’s chief executive officer.

GOP leaders plan to bring legislation to the floor next week that would fund most of the government through September 2015, while funding the Department of Homeland Security for a matter of months. That's intended to provide leverage for Republicans next year on the immigration order, because Homeland Security handles immigration issues. 

Party leaders argue this approach would give the next Congress, which will include GOP majorities in both chambers, an opportunity to challenge the administration on immigration without risking a government shutdown.

Heritage Action opposes the plan, and says it will negatively score votes in favor of the GOP plan.

Lawmakers must send a funding bill to the president by Dec. 11 to avoid a shutdown.

The legislation funding the government, known as a "cromnibus," is expected to be unveiled Monday, according to appropriators. Senate Democrats and the White House have both expressed openness to the idea.

Some conservatives on and off the Hill have balked at the current plan, however, saying Republicans need to take immediate action to block Obama’s plan to provide temporary legal status for millions of undocumented immigrants.

It's expected that at least 50 House Republicans will oppose it, meaning GOP leaders will need to rely on Democratic votes to get the bill to the Senate. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hasn't revealed whether she'll release her members to back the legislation.

Heritage Action’s key vote announcement could place pressure on wavering lawmakers to oppose the current cromnibus or push for changes.

The group also said it would not encourage votes in favor of separate legislation offered by Rep. Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott YohoKat Cammack wins Florida GOP primary in bid for Ted Yoho's seat The Hill's Convention Report: Democrats gear up for Day Two of convention Eyes turn to Ocasio-Cortez as she seeks to boost Biden MORE (R-Fla.), that would state the executive branch does not have the authority to defer deportations for undocumented immigrants. Heritage Action dismissed the bill as “purely symbolic.”

The Club for Growth, another conservative group that frequently uses key votes to push Republicans toward more conservative measures, had not yet decided whether to encourage opposition to the funding measure as well, according to a spokesman.