President Barack Obama won't forestall upcoming executive actions on immigration amid Republican threats of another government shutdown, the White House said Wednesday.
Obama is currently weighing ways to make changes to the immigration system on his own after Congressional action on the issue stalled. Some GOP lawmakers have suggested holding up a bill funding federal agencies if Obama takes unilateral action as promised.
"It would be a real shame if Republicans were to engage in an effort to shut down the government over a common sense solution" on immigration, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Wednesday.
Last year a failure to reach a budget deal resulted in a partial government shutdown that lasted over two weeks. The measure that Republicans backed gutted a portion of Obama's signature health law, making passage in the Democrat-controlled Senate impossible.
The White House lambasted GOP lawmakers, chiefly Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, for their insistence on tying funding for the federal government to Obamacare.
Asked whether a shutdown could happen again, Earnest said Wednesday he "had no idea."
"We would hope that Republicans wouldn't do the same thing again," he said. "They shut down the government over a commonsense, bipartisan effort to try to mitigate at least some of the worst problems that are caused by our broken immigration system."
Obama is set to announce his executive actions on immigration within weeks. The options could include expanding a deferred deportation program for children of immigrants.