Scalise: No Funding Cutoff Even If Obama Defers More Deportations

By Susan Jones | July 28, 2014 | 7:52 AM EDT

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) (AP File Photo)

( - What will congressional Republicans do if President Obama takes executive action to defer deportation for millions more illegal aliens? "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace asked Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) that question on Sunday.

"[W]ill you do nothing, will you...cut off funding for the administration, will you consider impeaching the president?"

Scalise said Republicans intend to be a "check and a balance against this administration," but he also indicated that Republicans will not use their power of the purse to stop the president:

"We're going to keep the government running at current levels," Scalise said, referring to a continuing resolution that the House will take up after its August recess to keep the government operating when the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.

But no government shutdown?" Wallace asked.

"No," Scalise said, there will not be a government shutdown before the midterm election. House Speaker John Boehner said the same thing last week.

Although Republicans plan to sue the president for exceeding his constitutional authority, Scalise indicated that they are not talking about impeachment. That kind of talk is coming from Democrats inside the White House, he said:

"You know, this might be the first White House in history that's trying to start the narrative of impeaching their own president. Ultimately, what we want to do is see the president follow his own laws. But the president took an oath to faithfully execute the laws of this land and he's not."

White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer told reporters on Friday that he would "not discount" the possibility that Republicans might try to impeach the president: "I think Speaker Boehner, by going down the path of this lawsuit, has opened the door to Republicans possibly considering impeachment at some in the future.”

On the same day, White House spokesman Josh Earnest was asked if he really thinks the president will be impeached: "Well, I think that there are senior members of the Republican political party or certainly prominent voices in the Republican Party who are calling for exactly that." He was referring to Sarah Palin.

And on Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Republicans "are trying to sue the president, on a path to impeach the president, while we're (Democrats) trying to create jobs and have stability in our country and in the world."

Scalise said the White House wants to talk about impeachment for fund-raising purposes.

On another topic, the congressman said House Republicans will "keep working" until they get the immigration "crisis" solved, but that does not mean they will postpone or cancel their five-week recess, as President Obama has suggested:

"It's ironic, we're here in Congress right now, and the president doesn't want to work with us while we're in town. He wants to wait until we're gone," Scalise said. "The House is willing to lead. The House has laid out what we'll do to solve this problem. The president wants to sit back and play politics. He's flying around doing fundraisers. He doesn't have time to come and sit down and work with Congress. We're going to get this problem solved."

Wallace pressed Scalise several times to answer the question about delaying the August recess, but Scalise dodged it each time: "Well, Chris, we're going to keep working until we get this problem solved." He said any emergency spending bill must start with securing the border.