Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted to move forward with their lawsuit against President Obama for his executive actions. Today, they’re telling him that he can handle the border crisis through executive actions. Think Progress reported that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who initiated the suit and has been rather outspoken about it, said that Obama can fix the border crisis “without congressional approval.”
This looks a little like the House just couldn’t stand to put off their August recess to deal with the border crisis. But more than that, they have such a problem with his executive orders that they’re suing him for them, but they have no problem with him issuing executive orders to handle the border crisis so they can go into recess.
The statement that Think Progress refers to was issued by Boehner, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA), and it said, in part:
“There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries. For the past month, the House has been engaged in intensive efforts to pass legislation that would compel the president to do his job and ensure it can be done as quickly and compassionately as possible.”
PBS has a timeline about the lawsuit, and how it came to be. Obama has “threatened” executive action on immigration several times over the last two months. He specifically said he’d use executive orders to handle immigration after Boehner said that the House would not pursue immigration reform over the summer. But he wanted to give the House a chance to actually pass an immigration bill, rather than forge ahead with more executive orders.
Obama did request $3.7 billion from Congress to handle the border crisis, and Congress dragged its heels. Republicans complained about his request for money under the guise of concern for the deficit. Congress decided not to give him that much, but they never came to a decision on exactly what to do.
According to PBS, the lawsuit specifically deals with Obama’s actions on the Affordable Care Act, and not immigration. However, when someone says, “You’ve used too many executive orders here, you’ve bypassed us too many times in this area, you’ve abused your office,” and then says, “Go ahead and issue more executive orders for this other thing, that’s what you’re supposed to be doing anyway,” one begins to see the serious disconnect, and the hypocrisy, that exists.
h/t Think Progress