John Boehner Defends His Plans for Suing Obama

Democrats call it an election-year ploy.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 11: U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) walks to his office at the U.S Capitol in Washington, DC June 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. Yesterday House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) lost his Virginia primary to Tea Party challenger Dave Brat. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
National Journal
Billy House
July 6, 2014, 7:54 a.m.

House Speak­er John Boehner is de­fend­ing his plans to sue Pres­id­ent Obama later this month over ex­ec­ut­ive power, say­ing he is stand­ing up for the le­gis­lat­ive branch of gov­ern­ment and the Con­sti­tu­tion.

“In the end, the Con­sti­tu­tion makes it clear that the Pres­id­ent’s job is to faith­fully ex­ecute the laws,” writes Boehner, in an op-ed ap­pear­ing Sunday on the CNN web­site. “And, in my view, the Pres­id­ent has not faith­fully ex­ecuted the laws when it comes to a range of is­sues, in­clud­ing his health care law, en­ergy reg­u­la­tions, for­eign policy and edu­ca­tion.”

Boehner as­serts that over the last five years, “the Pres­id­ent has cir­cum­ven­ted the Amer­ic­an people and their elec­ted rep­res­ent­at­ives through ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tion, chan­ging and cre­at­ing his own laws, and ex­cus­ing him­self from en­for­cing stat­utes he is sworn to up­hold — at times even boast­ing about his will­ing­ness to do it, as if dar­ing the Amer­ic­an people to stop him.”

Over that time, Re­pub­lic­ans have pro­tested such ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tions as re­cess ap­point­ments and en­vir­on­ment­al reg­u­la­tions.

As a res­ult, Boehner says that, later this month, “We will bring le­gis­la­tion to the House floor that would au­thor­ize the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives to file suit in an ef­fort to com­pel Pres­id­ent Obama to fol­low his oath of of­fice and faith­fully ex­ecute the laws of our coun­try.”

Obama has said he has been act­ing on be­half of the middle-class, be­cause Re­pub­lic­ans in Con­gress are do­ing “noth­ing.” He said late last month, “f Con­gress were to do its job and pass the le­gis­la­tion I’ve dir­ec­ted them to pass I wouldn’t be forced to take mat­ters in­to my own hands.”

And ap­pear­ing Sunday on CNN’s State of the Uni­on pan­el, Demo­crat­ic Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee Com­mu­nic­a­tions Dir­ect­or Mo El­leithee re­spon­ded to the threatened Boehner law­suit by cast­ing it more as a mid-term elec­tion year man­euver in­ten­ded to ex­cite and turn out GOP base voters on Nov. 4.

“That’s all that is, wheth­er it is yet an­oth­er vote to re­peal the Af­ford­able Care Act, wheth­er it is yet an­oth­er hear­ing on Benghazi, wheth­er it is now su­ing the Pres­id­ent and some Mem­bers of Con­gress talk­ing about im­peach­ing the Pres­id­ent, this is about gin­ning up their base,” said El­leithee.

But in his op-ed, Boehner writes that Obama has in the last five years has “con­sist­ently over­stepped his au­thor­ity un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion, and do­ing so eroded the power of the le­gis­lat­ive branch.” Boehner said that time­frame, “not co­in­cid­ent­ally,” relates to when Demo­crats lost the ma­jor­ity in the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives.

Obama also has re­spon­ded to the po­ten­tial GOP law­suit by call­ing it “a stunt.”

But Boehner in his op-ed called the pres­id­ent’s re­sponses a “flip­pant dis­missal” of the Con­sti­tu­tion, and “dis­ap­point­ing.”

“It is ut­terly be­neath the dig­nity of the of­fice. I know the Pres­id­ent is frus­trated. I’m frus­trated. The Amer­ic­an people are frus­trated, too,” writes Boehner.

“People are tired of this. They are tired of a Con­gress that would rather fight the Pres­id­ent in or­der to turn out their base than work with the Pres­id­ent to get things done,” said the DNC’s El­leithee, in his CNN ap­pear­ance Sunday.

What We're Following See More »
CHARM OFFENSIVE
Pence Is Trump’s Man on Capitol Hill
54 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"Spurred by VP pick Mike Pence, a former congressman with close ties to many lawmakers, the Trump campaign in recent weeks has stepped up its courtship of wary Capitol Hill Republicans. And the efforts appear to be bearing fruit." Central to the charm offensive: invitations to more than a dozen "Senate and House members into his family’s private box for some power-schmoozing with him and his kids" during the Republican National Convention.

Source:
PAUL RYAN: STOP IT
Trump Encourages More Spying by Russia
58 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump essentially encouraged more Russian espionage against Democrats in a press conference this morning. "Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” That prompted Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan to say: “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election.”

Source:
ONE MORE INVESTIGATION
IRS Investigating Clinton Foundation
2 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Investigations are never far from the Clintons, and here's another: At the behest of "dozens" of Republican lawmakers, the IRS is opening a fraud investigation into the Clinton Foundation."The move signals a shift from the IRS's announcement last year that it would not look into allegations of financial irregularities at the well-connected charity."

Source:
INFIGHTING AMONG COMMISSIONERS TO BLAME
Report Details Terrible Morale at FEC
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Bickering commissioners, ineffective managers and lousy internal communication rank among the top reasons why the Federal Election Commission" has some of the worst morale in the federal government. That's the conclusion of an inspector general's report, which put "the most blame on the FEC’s six commissioners: three Democratic appointees and three Republican appointees who have regularly criticized one another and frequently (but not exclusively) deadlocked on high-profile political issues before them."

Source:
TRADE DEALS BACK IN THE NEWS
UAW President: Clinton Promised to Renegotiate NAFTA
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

On Tuesday, Dennis Williams, the president of the United Auto Workers, said that Hillary Clinton has told him that she will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement if elected president. Trade deals, especially NAFTA, have played a prominent role in the campaign, with Clinton receiving heat both from her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders and GOP nominee Donald Trump. The Clinton campaign did not comment on Williams's comments, though that didn't stop the Trump campaign from weighing in. Hillary Clinton "will never renegotiate Bill Clinton's NAFTA," said Stephen Miller, senior policy adviser to Trump.

Source:
×