GOP senators believe that once House Republicans are convinced their plan cannot overcome a filibuster, the party can begin searching for a Plan B. House Republican leadership is in on the strategy and has made clear to top Senate Republicans that they need to fight for the legislation to make sure it’s “abundantly clear” it cannot pass. A fallback plan could mean anything from a watered-down attack on the president’s policies to a short-term funding bill or even the “clean” DHS funding bill that Democrats are demanding, which would leave the Obama immigration plan standing.
House Republican leadership says it’s in a bind and doubts that more than a few dozen of their lawmakers would vote for a clean bill. They say the Senate must include some language to chip away at Obama’s immigration policies for a bill to clear the House — but Senate leaders are in a quandary because they can’t change the bill if Democrats block the floor debate from even occurring…
Once it’s clear the bill has stalled in the Senate, where Republicans hold 54 seats, GOP senators say that the House will have to take up a new bill because funding bills must originate in that chamber.
“I think the House has to be convinced that the Senate is not going to be able to move what they sent us,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the No. 3 GOP leader. “It’s a process, and it’s all what the traffic will bear. How do you get to 60 in the Senate and 218 in the House — how do you thread that needle?”