WASHINGTON — While House Republicans say every option — including a government shutdown — is on the table to counter Presdient Barack Obama’s planned executive action on immigration, Colorado Sen.-elect Cory Gardner said shutting down the government is something a “mature governing body” shouldn’t even consider.
“There’s no time, place or purpose of a government shutdown or default,” Gardner said Friday. “That’s simply ridiculous and something that a mature governing body doesn’t even contemplate. We ought to make it very clear that that’s simply not acceptable.”
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said shutting down the government or defaulting on the U.S.’s debt obligations are completely off the table.
But House Speaker John Boehner has been under pressure from the conservative faction of his caucus to tie the president’s executive actions to the fate of the government spending bill needed to fund federal agencies by mid-December.
On Friday, Gardner, currently a member of the House, said members of Congress need to work together and with the president to make comprehensive immigration reform a reality.
Gardner said Republicans should counter the president’s planned action with a plan of their own.
“To simply say no to everything is unacceptable,” Gardner said. “But I think the president also needs to do the right thing and work with Congress.”
Asked about reports that Republicans could consider suing the president over his coming executive order, Gardner urged more bipartisanship, which he suggested was the message voters sent at the polls this month.
“Instead of charging each other with lawsuits or litigation or executive orders or abuses of powers, why don’t we actually do what the American people sent us to do. Let’s work together, let’s be the grownups in the room. That’s what they hope that Washington is,” Gardner said.
While the midterm results appeared to bring Obama and GOP leaders in Congress to the table — and in fact did as they lunched together at the White House — the spirit of bipartisanship appears to have already soured as Obama stood firm on his pledge to take executive action on immigration by the end of the year and following the announcement of a climate deal with China.