Washington CNN  — 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a surprising message for President Barack Obama: Not so fast on using that executive power to change immigration laws.

To be sure – Reid said he supports any presidential move to go around a stalemated Congress and help illegal immigrants by executive order, but he wants the president to hold off until Congress approves a bill to fund the government.

The Democratic Leader told CNN in a hallway interview Thursday that he has privately conveyed to the White House his concern: that the move will anger Republicans and threaten passage of the must-pass spending bill. That could lead to a government shutdown.

“The President has said he’ll do the executive action, the question is when,” Reid said. “He can do it, you know, it’s up to him. But I’d like to get the finances of this country out of the way before he does it. But it’s up to him.”

Congress is facing a Dec. 11 deadline to approve the government funding measure.