GOP Tells Obama to Ignore Congress One Day After Suing Him for Ignoring Congress

Office of the Speaker of the House

On Wednesday, House Republicans sued President Obama for acting on his own without approval from Congress. On Thursday, House Republicans told President Obama he should act on his own to fix the border crisis.

The messaging whiplash resulted from Speaker John Boehner's failure – so far – to pass a Republican spending bill that would provide $659 million to help stem the child migrant crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a statement following the decision to abruptly scrap a vote on the measure, Boehner and his fellow GOP leaders tried to put the onus back on Obama, saying the president had the power to act unilaterally, "without the need for congressional action," to respond to the crisis.

There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries."

Yet that was a polar opposite message from the one Republicans delivered a day earlier, when they voted to authorize a lawsuit against Obama for "bypass[ing] the legislative process to create his own laws by executive fiat," according to an accompanying committee report.

It was a contradiction not lost on Democrats, who reacted with their usual schadenfreude to the latest collapse of House GOP legislation.

“Senator Reid agrees with House Republican leaders’ statement that President Obama has the authority to take steps on immigration reform on his own," said Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for a clearly gloating Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

He's glad Republicans have come around and hopes this means they’ll drop their frivolous lawsuit against the President instead of continuing to waste the American people’s time and money.”

House Democrats mocked Republicans over the confusion at a hearing late Thursday. "I wonder if after today the president might want to sue the House of Representatives for malpractice," Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) mused.

And Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) asked what would happen if Obama actually listened to the Republican plea. "If we get the president to take executive action, are we going to sue him again a second time?" he asked.

Boehner's office, of course, argues there is a clear distinction between the president's existing executive authority to, say, send more troops to the border or require migrant children to return to their home countries and his actions to "change laws" passed by Congress.

Meanwhile, House Republicans were meeting behind closed doors Thursday as leaders tried to decide whether to make another run at passing their bill or to simply give up and take a five-week vacation. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.