Traditionally, Congress has remained quite calm after previous presidents took executive actions on immigration policy. This Congress intends to go in a different, more hair-on-fire direction.
But which direction, exactly? GOP lawmakers can't fully agree amongst themselves, at least not yet, on whether to shut down the government (again), impeach a Democratic president (again), refuse to govern (again), or generally just throw an elaborate partisan tantrum for a while. Some combination therein remains a distinct possibility.
Yesterday, however, Republicans seemed to be warming up to a tactic called "rescission." Long-time readers may recall that the tactic came up a year ago, but Roll Call reported on how it would apply this time around.
A new option emerged on Tuesday: passing an omnibus in December and later, after President Barack Obama issues his executive action on immigration, rescinding funding for the specific federal programs being used to implement the order.
House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., pitched the idea at a closed-door GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning.... Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a senior GOP appropriator, said under the approach being discussed, Congress would enact a 12-bill omnibus in December and later, in the new Congress when both chambers are controlled by Republicans, pass a separate bill that would rescind funding for certain programs.
The details would obviously need to be worked out, but some GOP lawmakers see this as a way to thread a needle. Instead of a shutdown, Republicans would agree to keep the government's lights on, but the legislation would cut spending, retroactively, for the parts of government President Obama would use to implement his immigration policy.
It's hardly a silver bullet -- it's hard to imagine the president signing it into law before Dec. 11 -- but the interesting thing was the reaction from Heritage Action, which helped spearhead the GOP's shutdown drive in 2013.