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Confrontation Building Between White House And Congress

Members of the House of Representatives join with veterans, service members and aspiring recruits for a news conference to call on Congress and President Barack Obama to move forward with immigration reform outside  the U.S. Capitol, which is being rennovated, November 12, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the House of Representatives join with veterans, service members and aspiring recruits for a news conference to call on Congress and President Barack Obama to move forward with immigration reform outside the U.S. Capitol, which is being rennovated, November 12, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/AFP/Getty Images)

Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota is not ruling out a government shutdown, telling Fox News’ Chris Wallace, “we’re having those discussions.” Thune says that President Obama is “choosing friction and partisanship,” and that would make it difficult for the GOP to work with him on immigration reform or other issues.

Thune’s comments come amid increasing speculation that President Obama will  take executive actions on immigration reform to protect as many as 5 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.  Incoming Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell has said that a unilateral move by the president would “poison the well.”

There is division within both parties over any action by the president, with Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill saying she is “not crazy about” executive action on the immigration, and Republican Mike Lee of Utah saying his party is “not headed into a government shutdown” over what the president might do.

An early test of the divisions will come tomorrow, with congressional votes scheduled on both the Keystone pipeline and reform of the National Security Agency. NPR’s Ron Elving joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson to discuss these issues between the president and Republicans.

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