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September 2, 2014

Posts in "John Boehner"

August 22, 2014

White House: Obama Had Constitutional Power for Bergdahl Swap (Video)

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The president’s responsibility to act trumps congressional oversight on spending, the White House said Friday.

The White House said Friday that constitutional authorities of the commander in chief trumped possible funding illegality in the transfer of five Taliban members in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

“The president has the constitutional responsibility to protect the lives of Americans abroad, and specifically to protect U.S. service members,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters in Edgartown, Mass., “It’s important for everyone here to understand that the GAO report expressly does not address the lawfulness of the administration’s actions as a matter of constitutional law.”

Full story

July 29, 2014

Boehner: Impeachment Talk a White House ‘Scam’ (Updated)

Updated 1:56 p.m. | An agitated Speaker John A. Boehner charged the White House with concocting impeachment talk for political gain Tuesday.

“We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans. It’s all a scam started by Democrats in the White House,” the Ohio Republican insisted after a GOP conference meeting. Full story

July 25, 2014

Boehner Aide on Pfeiffer Impeachment Talk: ‘Political Games’ (Updated)

Updated 3:53 p.m. | A spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner is dismissing Friday comments from senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer about the White House taking the threat of impeachment “very seriously.”

“We have a humanitarian crisis at our border, and the White House is making matters worse with inattention and mixed signals,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in an email when asked about Pfeiffer’s comments. “It is telling, and sad, that a senior White House official is focused on political games, rather than helping these kids and securing the border.”

Boehner, R-Ohio, has repeatedly dismissed the idea of impeaching the president when pressed by reporters.

When asked about that, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest also noted that Boehner had previously said Republicans wouldn’t “shut down the government over health care” either. “We did see that that happened,” Earnest noted.

Pfeiffer, at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters, was quoted by Time reacting to questions about impeachment.

“I think a lot of people in this town laugh that off. … I would not discount that possibility. I think Speaker Boehner, by going down the path of this lawsuit, has opened the door to Republicans possibly considering impeachment at some in the future. …

“I think that impeachment is a very serious thing that has been banded about by the recent Republican vice-presidential nominee and others in a very non-serious way, and no one has even made any allegation of anything that would be within six universes of what is generally considered in that space. But no, we take it very seriously and I don’t think it would be a good thing.”

While Sarah Palin has urged impeachment of the president — a fact also noted by Earnest — so far, no one in the House has pressed articles of impeachment. Any member can takes such articles straight to the House floor.

Many on both sides of the aisle believe impeaching the president would only help Democrats. Jim Acosta of CNN pushed Earnest on whether the administration talking up the prospects of impeachment was simply a fundraising ploy. (Earnest didn’t take the bait).

While Republicans have the votes to impeach the president in the House, a trial in the Senate would be certain to fail to remove the president from office.

The impeachment chatter also comes as a poll showing about one third of the country supporting impeachment — but a majority of Republicans.

Related:

Why House Conservatives Don’t Support Impeachment

July 22, 2014

White House ‘Confident’ in Case to Overturn Obamacare Ruling (Video)

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest expressed confidence that the courts would ultimately uphold Obamacare’s subsidies, despite an appeals court ruling Tuesday.

“This ruling does not have any practical impact” for now, Earnest said.

The 2-1 D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Halbig vs. Burwell adhered to the text of the law — that subsidies are allowed on state-based exchanges — potentially causing costs to skyrocket for millions in the 34 states that have relied on the federal exchange, Healthcare.gov. Full story

July 8, 2014

Obama Still Needs Congress to Show Him the Money

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Heather Piña Ledezma, a citizen who turned 6 on July 4, attends an immigration rally near the White House. Her mother is Mexican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama may be just about done with this Congress, but there’s one thing he can’t do without — money.

Before Congress adjourns in a month for the August recess, Obama wants lawmakers to pass a supplemental spending bill dealing primarily with the child migrant crisis, while also averting a slowdown of highway projects.

But he will need a historically unproductive Congress to creak into action to do so, even as House Republicans head to the courthouse to sue the president over his executive actions.

And after the break, Congress will have to agree on a spending bill to avoid a pre-election government shutdown — with Obama pushing Congress for a host of controversial items, including $500 million for Syrian rebels, a new anti-terrorism foreign aid fund and the authority to close the military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

The bottom line: While Obama has used his pen and phone to enact a host of administrative changes this year, he can’t pen and phone his way around Congress’ power of the purse. Full story

June 30, 2014

Immigration Bill Officially Dead: Boehner Tells Obama No Vote This Year, President Says (Updated) (Video)

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Boehner told Obama that a vote on an immigration overhaul will not be coming to the House floor this year, the president said. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:43 p.m. | President Barack Obama will not wait any longer for House Republicans to pass an immigration bill, after Speaker John A. Boehner told him he will not allow a vote this year, the president said Monday.

“Last week he informed me that Republicans will continue to block immigration reform at least for the remainder of this year,” Obama said Monday in a Rose Garden statement where he announced he would go it alone on immigration, “without Congress,” as far as he can.

Obama said he believes Boehner when he says he wants to pass an immigration bill, but he hasn’t been able to pass anything despite a year and a half of trying.

“America cannot wait forever for them to act,” Obama said.

Boehner put out a statement blaming Obama for the lack of progress on immigration.

“In our conversation last week, I told the president what I have been telling him for months: the American people and their elected officials don’t trust him to enforce the law as written,” Boehner said. “Until that changes, it is going to be difficult to make progress on this issue. The crisis at our southern border reminds us all of the critical importance of fixing our broken immigration system. It is sad and disappointing that ­faced with this challenge ­President Obama won’t work with us, but is instead intent on going it alone with executive orders that can’t and won’t fix these problems.”

Boehner blamed the president’s executive orders for leading to the latest crisis on the border, “giving false hope to children and their families that if they enter the country illegally they will be allowed to stay.  The White House claims it will move to return these children to their families in their home countries, yet additional executive action from this president isn’t going to stem the tide of illegal crossings, it’s only going to make them worse.”

But in his remarks, Obama said Republican leaders have “proven again and again” that they are unwilling to stand up to the tea party and back an immigration bill.

“I’m going to continue to reach out to House Republicans in the hope that they deliver a more permanent solution. …Whenever it is they will find me a willing partner,” Obama said. “The only thing I can’t do is stand by and do nothing while waiting for them to get their act together.”

Obama said that the best solution for Republicans worried that he’s taking too many executive actions is to pass a bill. Full story

June 27, 2014

Obama Dismisses Boehner ‘Stunt,’ Talks Immigration (Updated)

Updated 9:59 a.m. | President Barack Obama dismissed Speaker John A. Boehner’s plan to sue over his executive actions as a “stunt” in a wide-ranging ABC News interview, in which he also told parents in Central America to stop sending their children to the U.S. border.

Obama noted Boehner has not identified a single specific action that they are objecting to.

“I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something while they’re doing nothing,” Obama said.

On immigration, Obama said he told Boehner that if he’s upset about his executive actions, the speaker should try to do something legislatively.

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President Obama and Speaker Boehner attend the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon the Capitol’s Rayburn Room in March. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“You’re going to squawk if I try to fix some parts of it administratively that are within my authority while you’re not doing anything?” Obama said, directing his comments toward Republicans.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel responded in an email.

“The American people, their elected representatives, and the Supreme Court have all expressed serious concerns about the President’s failure to follow the Constitution. Dismissing them with words like, ‘smidgen’ or ‘stunt’ only reinforces their frustration,” he said.

Obama also told ABC that parents should not send their children across the border.

“Do not send your children to the borders,” Obama said. “If they do make it, they’ll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it.” Full story

June 25, 2014

White House: Boehner Lawsuit Uses Taxpayer Money Against Obama for ‘Doing His Job’ (Updated)

ireland010 031414 330x226 White House: Boehner Lawsuit Uses Taxpayer Money Against Obama for Doing His Job (Updated)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:49 p.m. | What does the White House think about Speaker John A. Boehner’s plans to sue President Barack Obama? Not much.

“They are considering a taxpayer-funded lawsuit against the president of the United States for doing his job,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said of the possible Boehner lawsuit.

Earnest, who has just a few days on the job, suggested the American people wouldn’t support the speaker’s effort. Earnest said Obama is using his constitutional authority to do what he can to help the economy and the middle class.

Full story

June 24, 2014

White House Not Reacting Yet to Boehner Lawsuit Plan

The White House told CQ Roll Call there is no immediate reaction to Daniel Newhauser’s scoop that Speaker John A. Boehner is planning a lawsuit against the Obama administration for failing to enforce the law.

We’ll update if that changes.

Obama’s strategy of acting on his own via his pen and phone has infuriated Republicans and has brought criticism from some legal scholars.

Boehner has repeatedly blamed Obama’s executive actions on health care and other issues for making his conference lose faith in the president’s willingness to enforce a new immigration law.

Republicans have been eyeing a lawsuit for months.

June 16, 2014

Obama Sending 275 Troops to Iraq, May Send Special Forces (Updated) (Video)

450715274 445x295 Obama Sending 275 Troops to Iraq, May Send Special Forces (Updated) (Video)

Iraqi soldiers watch as armed tribesmen gather to show their willingness to join Iraqi security forces in the fight against jihadi militants. (AFP/Getty Images)

Updated 7:19 p.m. | U.S. troops will not be ordered into combat in Iraq, but there will be boots on the ground.

President Barack Obama is sending 275 troops to Iraq for security of U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy, the president said in a letter to Congress Monday.

According to a statement by Press Secretary Jay Carney, the troops will assist with the relocation of some staff from the embassy.

“These U.S. military personnel are entering Iraq with the consent of the Government of Iraq. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad remains open, and a substantial majority of the U.S. Embassy presence in Iraq will remain in place and the embassy will be fully equipped to carry out its national security mission,” Carney said.

Obama also is considering sending Special Forces into Iraq to help with training and other purposes, but not in direct combat, The Associated Press reported.

Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 6:34 p.m.
Iraq, John Boehner

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