WASHINGTON — Several Senate Republicans said their party should be tempered in its response to President Obama's immigration executive actions until they take the majority in January.
Republican leadership has promised to fight the executive order, but exactly how they'll do so remains unclear. It is clear that incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner are hoping to avoid any kind of budget battle in the next month that could lead to a stand-off with the White House and another government shutdown.
Some members have already floated the idea of taking the administration to court, but as far as a legislative response involving the budget, many Republican Senators told BuzzFeed News the GOP would be smart to wait until next year.
"We have to prove that we can lead. All the decisions we make between now and the end of the year will be under a microscope so we have to prove we can lead," said Sen. Tim Scott. "We just can't take [Obama's] bait."
More than 60 members of the House have called on the Appropriations Committee to block funding for any of the proposed executive actions but Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers has said that's not a possibility.
Sen. Marco Rubio suggested to reporters that in the next Congress Republicans could tackle the order by passing piecemeal legislation to address immigration policy. Rubio was part of a bipartisan group that wrote the Senate-passed immigration bill last year, but he has since said that kind of comprehensive approach was a mistake.
"The reality is that Sen. Reid and the Democrats who control this process are not going to let us do anything serious about immigration," he said. "So I think we should do the best we can to spare the people of this country any sort of trauma of some sort of governmental, budgetary dysfunction, and then begin to do what we should do anyways even if executive order had not happened which is to begin to put reforms in place that will allow us to win the confidence of the American people that illegal immigration is under control and the second step would be modernizing our current immigration system"
"I would love to say I could go on the floor now and actually do something about it but I doubt that's going to happen as long as Harry Reid is in charge for the next six weeks, that's why winning the majority was so important," he added. "We have to be realistic about that."
Standing outside his office in the Capitol, Sen. John Cornyn said Republican leadership is weighing its options on how to dismantle Obama's executive actions.
"We're checking out all the options and we don't have an answer for you yet," Cornyn said just before winking at reporters and slipping away backwards into his office.