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Steve King, Marco Rubio Threaten Another Government Shutdown Over Immigration

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Not content to do absolutely nothing with Congress, Republicans are once again threatening to shut the government down.

Both Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) this week floated the idea of another government shutdown — the second one this session — either as a way to force Congress to pass stringent border security bills, or in response to President Obama’s upcoming executive action.

The Des Moines Register covered King’s threat, via remarks to the Westside Conservative Club, today:

Congressman Steve King said today the threat of another government shutdown could be Republicans’ leverage to pass border security and immigration legislation this fall.

Congress must act before the end of September to either approve a budget or continue spending at current levels to avoid a government shutdown. House Speaker John Boehner has said he expects action on a short-term continuing resolution next month.

King, R-Kiron, said “all bets are off” on a continuing resolution if President Barack Obama follows through with reported plans to deal with immigration issues without Congress.

“If the president wields his pen and commits that unconstitutional act to legalize millions, I think that becomes something that is nearly political nuclear …,” King said. “I think the public would be mobilized and galvanized and that changes the dynamic of any continuing resolution and how we might deal with that.”

King said if that happens, House-passed legislation on border security, including rolling back the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA order, “becomes a requirement” for a continuing resolution.

That’s right: Republicans have done exactly nothing on immigration reform all session.  But now that the President looks like he’s going to step in and take action where they won’t, in order to halt senseless deportations and protect families from separation, the GOP is ready to hold the entire government hostage in an attempt to prevent/stop him.

Also note the last paragraph in the pullout quote above, which suggests that King intends to force yet another House vote to end DACA and resume the deportation of DREAMers.  There have been at least five such votes already this Congressional session (compared to the exactly zero House votes for real immigration reform); the last such vote saw more Republicans voting against King than any of the previous.

The White House has already said that the threat of government shutdown is not derailing them from their plans to announce executive action on immigration.  When asked whether the GOP threats would make Obama “think twice” on his plans, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said flatly, “no, it won’t.”

He added, “The president is determined to act where House Republicans won’t, and there is strong support for that all across the country…[it] would be a real shame if Republicans were to engage in an effort to shut down the government” over the president’s attempts to address immigration reform, noting that the shutdown last year had a negative impact on the economy.

Last year’s shutdown cost the economy $24 billion and shaved 0.6% off the national GDP for that quarter.  Polling also found major damage to GOP approval ratings as a result.