John Boehner plans lawsuit against Obama over executive orders

House Speaker John Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner

WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner Wednesday told reporters that he plans to sue President Barack Obama over his use of executive action.

“You know the constitution makes it clear that the president’s job is to faithfully execute the laws and in my view the President has not faithfully executed the laws,” Boehner said at a news conference on Capitol Hill.

The Speaker denied that the move was about energizing Republicans ahead of the midterm elections.

“This is about defending the institution in which we serve. If you look back over the past 235 years of our history there’s been movement between the inherent powers of the executive branch vs the inherent powers of the legislative branch and what we’ve seen clearly over the past 5 years is an effort to erode the power of the legislative branch,” the Speaker said in response to a question from CNN.

Republicans argue that the President is breaching his constitutional power by side-stepping the legislative process. Obama has used executive actions as a way to bypass a deeply divided Congress, avoiding inaction on issues the White House has made hallmarks of the President’s second term agenda.

So far, the Republican-controlled House has passed two bills aimed at curbing executive orders by the President, neither of which have gone anywhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi Wednesday called the lawsuit “a subterfuge” and said Republicans in Congress are “doing nothing” and “they have to give some aura of activity.”

Pelosi said the House GOP effort to challenge the Defense of Marriage Act in court wasted $2.3 million in taxpayer money, and said “here we go again.”

Obama has used his executive authority to push through a number of issues. Most recently, he directed the Department of Labor to extend family leave to same-sex couples. Previously, he raised the minimum wage for federal contractors and halted deportations for many children in the United States illegally.

Rank and file House Republicans have been pushing for months for top GOP leaders to file a lawsuit.

Conservative Republicans have long complained that the President has overstepped his authority – citing the series of changes that Obama has made on his own to tweak the implementation of Obamacare.

Congressional Republicans, fueled by anger from their grassroots supporters, also argued it was time to explore legal action when the President began saying in January that he had a “pen and a phone” and would take action on key priorities if Congress failed to move legislation.

One avenue Boehner could take is to convene a Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group — something he did in 2011 when the White House said it would no longer defend the anti same-sex marriage law, the Defense of Marriage Act.

Since there is only a day and a half left before Congress heads out for a week long recess, the lawsuit is not expected to be filed until next month. The lawmakers who make up the group – the top three House GOP leaders and the top two Democratic leaders – will have to meet and vote — and — that isn’t expected to happen until after Congress gets back from 4th of July break.

Boehner just so happened to be with the President on Tuesday, along with Vice President Joe Biden, at the White House to meet with members of the 2013 U.S. and International Presidents Cup teams. And the mood didn’t seem to be too tense between the House leader and the commander-in-chief, given reports of Boehner’s possible lawsuit.

Obama joked: “I’m joined by two of my favorite golf partners, the Vice President of the United States Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner.”

Commissioner Tim Finchem jokingly said that he’s been keeping track of who criticizes the President about his golf game, and Boehner was not among his critics.

“The only thing that he doesn’t criticize me about,” the President added, to laughs.

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Filed in: News

29 comments

  • Chucky

    Why sue him? He needs to be impeached. He has blatantly disregarded laws that he was sworn to abide by and enforce, admitted the violations and then stated he would do it again. What more proof do you need that he is not doing what he was elected and sworn to do? He is much more of a dictator than a president.

    • Bob Jones

      Dictator? Hyperbole can sometimes help make a point, but your use of this term to describe Obama just shows that you are ignorant of what a dictator really is.

      • Chucky

        No, I’d say that with the executive orders that he has used to circumvent the democratic process, he is more akin to a dictator. Wikipedia: “A dictator is a ruler who wields absolute authority.” I think that you sir would be the ignorant one.

    • Bob Jones

      Sure…impeachment hearings would really get Congress rolling…not. The last thing the country needs right now is for the idiots in Congress to have another excuse to avoid addressing the problems at hand.

  • John Dirtandmoredirt

    Everybody talk about the republican party the last four year people have lost jobs and their home so if you people went to see a future guess what, there may not be a future….Murder, drugs, HIV, poverty our city more crime than ever and on and on……(dirtandmoredirt com)

  • FaithC

    About time somebody did something. Obama is not only upholding the laws, he is an out and out trader to this country. So what is the punishment for treason these days?

  • seriously?

    I hope they stick it to him as he’s the worst president since Carter; he has found his place in the history books and not because of the color of his skin.

  • Chris

    Hope it’s on his $$ he’s suing. And I’ve been tired of these “parties” (whether D or R) always blocking the legislation of the “other party” when it involves something the President ran on during elections. The citizens voted the President in based on a lot of the items that Congress blocks if “other party President” wants it. Voters must have wanted it if that President won. Let the President do what voters elected him to do (or try). He’s the President, not Congress. I realize there should be checks and balances, but all the political party stuff has me fed up.

  • I cant wait 2 see

    Boy of boy, I sure cant WAIT until we have a white president again. Let see if things get passed in the house and senate faster. I BET things will be soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much easier when Obama is out of office. Life has been super bad since he has been here..Before him, life was MUCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH better….WOW!!!!

  • I cant wait 2 see

    you sheep picking sides are as dumb as the same political parties you support…hold this L you lemmings

  • Dan

    When asked for specific instances, the speaker could not list a single one. Election year stunts that draw in weak-minded fools.

  • a man

    using executive orders is wrong. in a government made for the people and by the people no 1 person has the right to make decisions. not even the president. yes he was elected so therefore is not a dictator but self proclaiming his own thoughts right, by changing laws or creating them, and not going through the process our forefathers created is something a dictator would do. Yes many presidents before him have used executive orders, but very few. I don’t know the exact number but I did read that in Obamas first term he used more executive orders than 10 presidents before him combined. the fight between republican and democrat was alive and well during these other presidents terms as well. nothing has changed there. we have a true problem on our hands with Obama. power does strange stuff to people and his needs to be stripped by impeachment before he turns this land that I love into another 3rd world country and by using these executive orders he is doing it all alone.

    • Bob Jones

      The number of executive orders issued by Obama is in line with his predecessors. Don’t believe the hype.

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