By Russell Berman, The Atlantic
January 8, 2015
Republicans won't have to wait long to find out exactly how much power their new Senate majority gives them in Washington.
Keeping a promise they made at the end of last year, party leaders want to use a bill funding the Department of Homeland Security to stop President Obama from carrying out his plans to unilaterally shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. "I said we’d fight it tooth and nail when he had our new majorities in the House and Senate, and I meant it," Speaker John Boehner told reporters on Thursday.
Recall that Boehner and Mitch McConnell, now the Senate majority leader, decided in the fall to put off an immediate clash with the president after he announced his intention to bypass Congress and overhaul parts of the immigration system himself. Rather than risk a government shutdown in December, they shook off complaints from conservatives and passed the $1.1 trillion "cromnibus," funding the entire government with the exception of DHS through September. Money for Homeland Security runs out in late February, offering the GOP majority its first deadline—and what it hopes will be its first leverage point—of the new Congress.
The question now is what Republicans will do and how far they'll get.[...]
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