With Congress reconvening and the first order of business being a new government spending bill, John Boehner, the speaker of the House of Representatives, is working with other Republican Party leaders to try to quash a budding rebellion. Some conservative lawmakers would like to force another government shutdown in their fury over President Obama’s decision to enact immigration reform through his executive authority, according to the New York Times.
Republican Party leaders have been putting their emphasis on unity since their landmark victory in last month’s midterm elections, but there are some in their ranks who believe that defunding is the only way to stop Obama’s plans for immigration reform. This scenario would almost certainly result in another government shutdown.
Boehner is trying to persuade angry party members that taking such action would only result in bad news for the Republicans. The speaker is approaching his third term and his legacy is now at risk of being tarnished by political gridlock in Washington and endless partisan infighting. Republican leaders want to set a positive precedent to promote more cooperation with the White House, but this hope would be seriously undermined by tensions over spending.
“Shutting down the entire government over something never did make sense to the American people, still doesn’t and won’t in the future,” the New York Times was told by North Carolina Republican senator Richard Burr. Maryland representative Chris Van Hollen says that he has little hope of Boehner being able to control irate Tea Party members.