Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN) are pushing to scuttle the GOP leadership’s spending bill in favor of a stopgap proposal that includes a symbolic vote against President Barack Obama’s immigration executive actions.
As House Republicans scrambled to secure the votes for a spending bill, the two conservative lawmakers told reporters on Thursday afternoon they have floated a plan to Republican leaders that they believe would unite the GOP caucus.
It involves a 60-day “continuing resolution” to keep the government funded at existing levels, along with an amendment by King to block funds from being used for Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The amendment will be designed in such a way that the Senate can strip it out and send the stopgap bill straight to Obama’s desk for his signature.
“We think that this is a win for everybody,” Bachmann said. “We think we can unify the Republicans.”
The lawmakers spoke to reporters outside Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) office, where he was holding a lengthy meeting with his whip team to garner the votes for the imperiled $1.1 trillion bill, which is facing opposition from the right over immigration and from the left over provisions that would loosen rules on Wall Street and campaign finance laws.
“If we get it on the [House] floor, it will pass,” King said.
Republican leaders postponed a scheduled Thursday afternoon vote on the spending bill, lacking the votes to ensure House passage.
“I don’t think they’ll get” to 218 votes on the omnibus spending bill, King said of House leaders. If GOP leaders decide that they don’t have the votes for the omnibus, “then I think they’d come back to this proposal,” he said. King argued that the plan would put “everybody in the Senate on record” for or against Obama’s immigration actions.
King and Bachmann expressed disappointment that Boehner was reaching out to Democrats to help pass the omnibus bill. They admitted that the immigration vote in their plan would ultimately be symbolic. The House has passed multiple bills objecting to Obama’s moves.
The federal government faces a shutdown at midnight on Thursday if Congress doesn’t pass a bill that Obama signs by then.