Is McConnell already giving up on passing the House’s immigration bill?

The House voted 236-191 Wednesday to pass legislation blocking funding for Obama’s executive orders on immigration, but the bill faces a near-impossible battle in the Senate. In order to reach the 60-vote threshold to end debate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will need to persuade at least six Democrats to vote in favor of the bill. But conservatives are worried that McConnell has already given up fighting against Obama’s immigration reform:

The House bill appears very unlikely to pass the Senate, where McConnell will need to attract at least six Democrats to reach the 60-vote threshold to end debate. Although conservatives have called on McConnell to bring the bill to the floor immediately, he did not offer a timeline for consideration on Thursday. Funding for the Department of Homeland Security expires at the end of February.

McConnell did not provide a path forward Thursday in the likely case that the House bill fails. Passing the House bill would “be our first choice,” McConnell said. “If we’re not able to do that, then we’ll let you know what’s next.”

If the House bill cannot pass the Senate, conservatives are worried that McConnell, who has vowed to maintain funding for the Department of Homeland Security, will pass a clean funding bill without any language restricting the administration’s actions on immigration.

The Senate Conservatives Fund is already sounding the alarm, warning in a fundraising email Thursday that McConnell may hold a quick vote “so he can throw up his hands, concede defeat, and move onto something else.”

However, some Senate Republicans think conservatives need to lower their expectations:

Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters on Thursday that the bill could be changed by amendment in the Senate.

Cornyn’s comments also sent the signal that GOP conservatives in the House need to lower their expectations.

Without a deal, the Homeland Security Department could shutdown after Feb. 27, when its existing funding runs out.

That’s something Republicans in both chambers want to avoid, and the messages from Cornyn and McConnell are sinking in, the border-state congressman said.

“The expectation by the rank and file in the House is it’s not going to come back even remotely similar to what we sent over there. And there is a real reticence by members of our conference to allow the funding to lapse,” the lawmaker added.

Overall, it does seem unlikely that the bill will pass the upper chamber. Hopefully, if and when that does happen, Republicans won’t engage in a civil war that could result in another shutdown.