House Speaker John Boehner slammed President Obama’s immigration executive actions in a furious statement Friday morning.
“The president has chosen to deliberately sabotage any chance of bipartisan reforms he claims to support,” the Ohio Republican said. “You can’t ask the elected representatives of the people to trust you to enforce the law if you’re constantly demonstrating that you can’t be trusted to enforce the laws.”
“The president has taken actions that he himself has said are those of a king or emperor not an American president,” he added.
Boehner had previously threatened that immigration action would “poison the well” and that the president would “burn himself” by acting alone. On Friday, the Republican leader promised his chamber would fight back.
“We are working with our members and looking at the options that are available to us but I will say to you, the House will in fact act,” he said.
Boehner not only attacked the president’s decision to go it alone, he questioned the merit of the changes Obama made by deferring deportations, saying it will attract more illegal immigrants and hurt those who are in line to get citizenship.
“The action by the president yesterday will only encourage more people to come here illegally, putting their lives at risk,” he said on Friday.
The president knew this fight was coming – Republicans have promised retaliatory action for weeks. The question is how they’ll fight back, as Republicans have suggested everything from defunding Obama’s action to suing the president for an abuse of power, shutting down the government, or even impeachment.
Still, many prominent experts and figures, such as former president Bill Clinton, have argued that the president was well within his legal authority to take the action he did.
“I’m for it,” said Clinton told msnbc. “If anything, this will strengthen his chances with Congress.”