McConnell: 'We Will Not Be Shutting the Government Down'

By Susan Jones | November 14, 2014 | 6:50am EST

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., is seen on Nov. 13, 2014, after the GOP rank-and-file chose him to be the new Senate majority leader. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( - Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says a continuing resolution will pass in mid-December, even if President Obama goes around Congress to change immigration law by executive decree, as he has promised to do very soon.

"Yeah, we will not be shutting the government down, threatening to default on the national debt," McConnell said at a news conference on Thursday. Then he repeated what he'd just said: "We will not be shutting the government down or threatening to default on the national debt."

Some of Boehner's colleagues, including Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), say Congress must block funding to implement Obama's anticipated executive order.

"Congress simply has to bar the expenditure of any money to carry out such a scheme because it would be a very expensive scheme," Sessions said last week.

According to McConnell, Republicans don't want Obama to issue executive orders on immigration, "because there's a lot of interest among Republicans in both the House and the Senate in passing an immigration reform bill. I don't think there's anybody in our conference who doesn't think the current system is a mess and we'd like to improve it.

"The president has been told over and over and over again -- and we're telling him again today -- don't do this, because his executive actions are not permanent changes. You know, they won't necessarily be there under the next president," the senator explained.

"If he really wants to improve the immigration system we have in this country, he is stuck with a Congress that he doesn't like...And we'd like for the president to recognize the reality that he has the government that he has, not the one that he wishes he had, and work with us to try to find a way to improve our immigration system."

As reported, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Republicans will "fight president tooth and nail if he continues down this path. This is the wrong way to govern," he said on Thursday.

Boehner noted that "all the options" to block the president from making immigration law "are on the table."

"We're having discussions with our members and no decisions have been made as to how we will fight this if he proceeds."On the Democrat side, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Republicans should not attempt to withhold funding for President Obama's anticipated executive action, which reportedly will allow up to 5 million illegal aliens to live and work openly in the U.S. for the next two years.

"I don't think they should do that," Pelosi told a news conference on Thursday. "They're saying to the president, don't use your executive authority. Suppose he turned to us, and said, don't use your legislative authority? That's what presidents do. They have executive authority."

Pelosi listed presidents from Eisenhower to Bush who have issued executive orders: "What we do know is that every modern-day president before President Obama has used that executive authority," she said.

Pelosi said House Republicans could "prevent it all from happening" by passing the Senate immigration bill.

Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did not discuss immigration at his Thursday news conference, but he reportedly wants President Obama to wait until after December to issue his order:

"The president has said he's going to do the executive action -- the question is when he can do it. It's up to him," The Huffington Post quoted Reid as saying. "I'd like to get the finances of this country out of the way before he does it."

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