House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he does not believe President Barack Obama is implementing U.S. law, and confirmed on Wednesday that he is planning to file a law suit against Obama on those grounds.
“The Constitution makes it clear that a president’s job is to faithfully execute the laws,” Boehner told reporters. “In my view, the president has not faithfully executed the laws.”
When asked directly if he was planning legal action, as was reported Tuesday, Boehner answered, “I am.”
Boehner also stressed that the goal was not to impeach Obama, but instead to get to a legal verdict that finds he is not enforcing the laws as required by the Constitution.
“This is not about impeachment, this is about his faithfully executing the laws of this country,” he said.
The pending lawsuit, which would be filed on behalf of the House of Representatives, is a reaction to Republicans’ ongoing frustration with Obama over the last several years. Many have cited Obama’s routine willingness to bend the rules in Obamacare, mostly in order to delay implementation or otherwise mitigate the effects of the law on companies.
But Republicans have also cited Obama’s deferred deportation of illegal immigrants as a blow to the rule of law, as well as his decision to pull back on work requirements that are part of federal laws on welfare.
“Not only does the president regularly ignore the law, he brags about it and he brags about his willingness to change it unilaterally,” Boehner said.
Earlier this year, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) proposed legislation that would put lawsuits against the president on a fast track — the ENFORCE the Law Act — and the House passed it in March.
That bill would ensure expedited review of lawsuits against the administration’s failure to enforce the law. However, the Senate has not considered this bill, which means there will be no expedited process for the suit.
Boehner rejected the idea that the suit is meant to help excite the Republican base for the mid-term election.
“This is about defending the institution in which we serve,” he said. “What we’ve seen clearly over the last five years is an effort to erode the power of the legislative branch.
“I believe the president is not faithfully executing the laws of our country, and on behalf of the institution and our Constitution, standing up and fighting for this is in the best long-term interest of the Congress.”