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Threats of government shutdown surface if Obama acts on immigration

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Some Republicans are warning that a government shutdown could be the end result if President Obama moves ahead with unilateral action to address illegal immigration.

The president is threatening to tear the country apart politically by issuing an executive order that will grant amnesty to nearly 5 million illegal immigrants, and Republican leadership has vowed to fight the action.

“We’re going to fight the president tooth and nail if he continues down this path,” House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday. “And so, all the options are on the table.”

Sounding more like a petulant child than the president of the United States, Obama said Friday during a news conference in Myanmar that Republicans could avoid a battle by passing comprehensive immigration legislation, the Associated Press reported.

“I would advise that if in fact they want to take a different approach, rather than devote a lot of time trying to constrain my lawful actions as the chief executive of the U.S. government in charge of enforcing our immigrations laws, that they spend some time passing a bill,” the president said.

With Obama wielding the expected executive order like a hammer over the heads of GOP lawmakers, some want to use upcoming spending bills to block him, but others say that could result in a government shutdown, according to the Associated Press.

Countering Boehner’s claim that all options are on the table, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that a shutdown is not a tactic that will be used to oppose Obama’s action.

“We will not be shutting the government down, or threatening to default on the national debt,” he said Thursday.

McConnell suggested Obama is ignoring the thrashing Democrats took in last week’s midterm election.

“I had maybe naively hoped the president would look at the results of the election and decide to come to the political center and do some business with us,” McConnell said. “I still hope he does at some point, but the early signs are not good.”

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