Boehner warns on unilateral immigration action by Obama

WASHINGTON Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:53pm EDT

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington July 10, 2014.  REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington July 10, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday that any unilateral steps by President Barack Obama on immigration would make matters worse and add to a "legacy of lawlessness."

"No more unilateral action by the president," Boehner said at a news conference.

"If the president takes these actions, he'll be sealing the deal on his legacy of lawlessness," he said. "He'll be violating the solemn oath he made to the American people on the day of his inauguration."

Boehner said the House planned to vote Thursday on legislation that would stop Obama from expanding his 2012 action to suspend deportations of children brought to the United States before mid-2007 by their parents.

The House has passed legislation that attempted to shut down the 2012 policy, which Republicans link to the influx of children arriving at the southwestern U.S. border with Mexico.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said earlier in the day that the president is acting on his own because Boehner has refused to put to a vote an immigration reform bill that passed the Senate.

"The question for the president is, are we just going to sort of allow the country to be stuck just because congressional Republicans are blocking everything?" Earnest said in an interview on MSNBC.

"Or is the president going to use the authority that's vested in the Constitution in the executive branch to try and solve some of the problems that congressional Republicans won't allow the country to try to address?" Earnest said.

The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security are conducting a review to see what steps the president can legally take.

The president has pushed for reform that would create a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants within the United States. The Senate bill had such provisions, but Republicans in the House largely opposed them as amounting to amnesty for people who entered the country illegally.

Faced with an adversarial Congress, Obama has taken a series of unilateral actions to further his agenda. This has led Republicans to say Obama is exceeding the limits of his office. Boehner said Obama's actions were "sacrificing the integrity of our laws on the altar of political opportunism" and should be held accountable.

"The president's support is slipping and he and his party are desperate to motivate their base as we move toward the November elections," Boehner said.

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Bill Trott and Gunna Dickson)

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Comments (76)
CDN_Rebel wrote:
I think Boehner’s words would carry more weight if the Republicans (or Democrats even) had legislation on these matter ready to bring to a vote… so far they’ve come up with not a damned thing as far as I know. I don’t like Obama making all these executive actions per se, but something needs to be done and the Congress and the Senate have shown themselves to be unequal to the task.

Obama’s approval might be in the 40s, but the Senate is in the teens and Congress is below 10%, so the people *are* speaking, and they’re telling Boehner to get to work bringing legislation to the floor rather than protest votes over and over and over and over and over and over…

Jul 31, 2014 1:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Nothing appears to move on either side of the legislature, but it’s only reported on the Republican controlled House and not the Democrat controlled Senate. Why?

Jul 31, 2014 1:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
USAPragmatist wrote:
‘”The president’s support is slipping and he and his party are desperate to motivate their base as we move toward the November elections,” he said.’

News Flash for Mr Boehner, the Presidents approval rating is about 5 times Congress’s. Maybe that is because at least he is trying to do his job, Congress does not even look like they are trying, as an example who in the private sector(or in a goverment job for that matter) could take a 5 week vacation without even attempting to fix the myriad of problems facing our country. And to top it off, they go after President Obama for doing his job, really sad what the right has become.

Jul 31, 2014 1:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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