Reps. Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Diane Black (R-Tenn.) have introduced legislation to prohibit funding to implement President Obama's executive action on immigration.
Their bill, titled The Separation of Powers Act, would block the use of funds for deferring deportations of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally or providing work permits.
Poe said the legislation would reinforce the constitutional principle of checks and balances.
"This legislation will allow Congress to exercise its 'check' on an out-of-control White House that treats the Constitution as a mere suggestion, not the law of the land," Poe said.
Black said the measure could be one of the options for Republicans to respond to President Obama's action.
"My colleagues and I will explore our options to stop this overreach and restore the proper Constitutional balance to our government — this legislation is an important start," Black said.
However, it is unclear if congressional Republicans can actually defund the executive action, given that the agency that processes work permits, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is funded through application fees and not subject to the appropriations process.
President Obama's executive action includes an expansion of the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program for people who came to the U.S. illegally as children before January 1, 2010, regardless of their current age. Previously, the DACA only applied to people who had been in the U.S. for at least five years, had been born after 1981 and entered the U.S. before June 15, 2007.
In addition, the parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents would be eligible to apply for work permits and deferred deportation.