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Posted at 1:21 p.m. on June 25, 2014
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.
“This lawsuit is not something that’s going to consume the attention of the White House,” Earnest asserted.
Asked if the president would reconsider his “pen and phone” strategy, Earnest replied, “No.”
He added that the administration hadn’t yet heard a legal rationale from Boehner on what specific actions Congress opposes.
Yet, he said, “we feel completely confident” that the president was acting in his authority.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel tweaked Earnest on Twitter for the “taxpayer funded” line.
.@StevenTDennis And he keeps saying it from behind a ‘taxpayer-funded’ podium in a ‘taxpayer-funded’ building …
— Michael Steel (@michael_steel) June 25, 2014
Boehner’s office later released a memo to his members outlining the lawsuit, although it did not name a specific action Obama has taken that the speaker considers unlawful. But he said he is asked everywhere he goes when he will take action to rein in Obama’s expansion of executive power.
“We elected a president, Americans note. We didn’t elect a monarch or king,” Boehner wrote.
When Roll Call broke the story about the planned lawsuit against the Obama administration for failing to enforce the law, the White House had no comment.
Obama’s actions this year have infuriated Republicans. 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.