Congress is back to work today after the holiday with a major deadline looming: It needs to pass a new funding bill by Dec. 11 or the government runs out of money. Given that Republicans are seething over President Obama's executive action on immigration, some think a government shutdown is the perfect way to challenge him, observes the Courier-Journal. But the New York Times reports that John Boehner "does not want to be remembered as the Shutdown Speaker" and is spreading the word to the rank-and-file that a shutdown is not the way to go—nor is even the mere threat of one.
Republicans will get blamed for it, as they did for the last one, argues Boehner, who is expected to be re-elected speaker in January. He and fellow House GOP leaders are instead pushing to pass an omnibus bill that would fund the government through the end of fiscal 2015, which is Sept. 30. By then, of course, Republicans in the new House will have an even stronger majority, and the Times story says Boehner wants to take full advantage. “He’s never wanted to just be speaker,” Rep. Tom Cole tells the newspaper. "He’s wanted to be a historically significant speaker.” (Read more John Boehner stories.)