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(CNN) —  

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is encouraging President Barack Obama to act in a sweeping and swift manner to issue an executive order changing immigration laws.

“I believe that when the President decides to do his executive order, he should go big – big as he can,” Reid told reporters at his weekly press conference Tuesday.

As for the timing, Reid said the President “should do something as quickly as he can.”

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Just last week, Reid suggested it was better for the president to hold off on going it alone on immigration until Congress funds the government. Some Republicans want to use Congress’ power to fund the government to try to roll back any executive action on immigration. The government runs out of money on Dec. 11, unless Congress acts.

“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,” Reid told CNN in a Capitol hallway last week.

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Now, Reid says he meant that other people in the Democratic caucus wanted the president to wait on an immigration executive order – but not him.

“Every president, since President Eisenhower, have done executive orders as it relates to immigration. Every president. Thirty-nine different times. Now Reagan, Bush and Bush, they’ve done it and we didn’t hear a single word come from the Republicans that they didn’t like that. So why now is this suddenly an issue with the Republicans?” asked Reid.

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