Boehner says he'll sue Obama over executive actions

Speaker John Boehner said he hasn't decided which of President Obama's actions to name in his planned lawsuit over executive actions.

By Gabrielle Levy
U.S. President Barack Obama, delivers remarks in front of U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio. UPI/Michael Reynolds/Pool
U.S. President Barack Obama, delivers remarks in front of U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio. UPI/Michael Reynolds/Pool | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 25 (UPI) -- House Speaker John Boehner said he planned to take the Obama administration to court over the president's use of executive actions to bypass Congress.

Boehner, speaking to reporters at his weekly press conference at the Capitol Wednesday, said he had decided to file a lawsuit, although he had yet to decide what actions he would name specifically.


"The Constitution makes it clear that the president's job is to faithfully execute the laws, and in my opinion, the president has not faithfully executed the laws," Boehner, R-Ohio said.

The speaker and other Republican lawmakers have repeatedly accused President Obama of being untrustworthy, charging him with ignoring laws when it suits him for political purposes, particularly with respect to his immigration policy.

Boehner denied that his decision to sue was a political maneuver in an election year, but said it wasn't his intention to start down a path toward impeachment proceedings.

"This is not about impeachment, this is about faithfully executing the laws of this country," he said. "What we've seen clearly over the last five years is an effort to erode the power of the legislative branch. On behalf of the institution, and our Constitution, standing up and fighting for this is in the best long-term inserts of the Congress."


Earlier Wednesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed Boehner's plans to sue as "subterfuge" meant to "give some aura of activity" for the least productive Congress in history.

Meanwhile, Obama has dubbed 2014 his "year of action", vowing to take executive actions to get things done when Congress fails to act.

Obama has in fact used executive orders less frequently than all modern presidents. In more than five years in office, Obama has used the power of the pen 168 times, meaning if he keeps his pace, he will have signed 269 executive orders while in office.

Every two-term president going back to Franklin Roosevelt used them more, with George W. Bush coming closest in frequency with 291 in eight years. Even Presidents John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, who all served less than a full two terms, signed more executive orders than Obama is on pace to sign in two.

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