House Speaker John Boehner confirmed the GOP lawsuit against Obama's immigration actions
Boehner also defended his decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak in March
He said he plans to remain as speaker: "I'll be here for a while."
House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday confirmed House Republicans are filing a lawsuit against Obama’s executive action delaying deportations for millions of immigrants here illegally.
“The President’s overreach when he took executive action to deal with the immigration problems in our country, frankly, in my view, is a violation of our Constitution,” he said in an interview on Fox News.
“This isn’t about immigration,” he said. “This is the President violating the Constitution, violating his oath of office, and frankly, not upholding the rule of law.”
Boehner had told House Republicans of the planned lawsuit during their closed-door meeting on Tuesday.
The move comes as House leadership struggles to round up support for a border security bill they planned to vote on this week, in part due to conservative opposition. Conservatives have expressed frustration that leadership hasn’t done enough to oppose Obama’s unilateral action on immigration.
Boehner insisted during the interview that the bill will ultimately pass.
But while the lawsuit may help quell some of those complaints, it’s unlikely to ultimately have much impact on deportations. Boehner turned to a similar tactic on Obamacare, bringing a lawsuit against the administration for delaying the employer mandate that remains stalled in court.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the administration believes Obama was acting well within his power when he issued the order on deportations.
“House Republicans seem to be relying more and more on the courts these days to challenge the president’s authority,” Shultz said at Wednesday’s daily press briefing. “We believe that we acted within the full bounds of authority enshrined to the executive branch, and we’ll be defending that.”
Boehner also defended his decision to invite Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address the House in March, without letting the White House know in advance, a move that’s drawn widespread criticism from even pro-Israel groups.
“The Israeli prime minister can also talk with some expertise about the growing threat of radical Islam,” Boehner said. “We’ve got a serious problem in the world and the President just wants to act like it’s going to just disappear. And so as a co-equal branch of our government, I don’t have any problem at all in doing what I did to invite the prime minister to come to Congress and address those concerns.”
Netanyahu is expected to lobby Congress to pass new sanctions on Iran, putting him squarely at odds with Obama. The President said during a Wednesday interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that he hadn’t heard “a persuasive rebuttal of my argument that we crafted very effective sanctions against Iran specifically to bring them to the negotiations table.”
Obama also told Zakaria that he won’t be meeting with Netanyahu when he comes because “our general policy is, we don’t meet with any world leader two weeks before their election.”
But Boehner said there’s clear “antipathy” from the White House towards Netanyahu.
“They don’t even try to hide it,” he said.
Boehner also said House Republicans will eventually offer an alternative to the health care reform law, and that he himself expects to remain speaker — despite facing another conservative coup attempt — for quite some time.
“I’ll be here for a while,” he said.