Speaker of the House John Boehner tried to distance himself from his unpopular lawsuit against President Obama by blaming Democrats for his decision to sue the president.
Since he disagrees with impeachment, Rep. Boehner (R-OH) was asked if he would withhold funding from actions that the president has taken if he feels that Obama has went beyond his authority.
Boehner answered by blaming Democrats for the lawsuit.
He said, “Well, there’s a lot of ways to deal with this issue, but we’ve got a Republican House and we’ve got a Democrat Senate. And there are a lot things that we’ve passed here that the Senate has clearly not passed. And when it comes to that issue, some of these actions that you could defund, there clearly isn’t, I wouldn’t guess, an appetite in the United States Senate to withhold these funds. That’s why. That’s why we’ve decided that the more direct approach of suing the president is the right path to go down here. I’m for upholding the Constitution. I’m for protesting the interest of the House vis-a-vis the power grab that’s going by the White House. While he has the authority to issue executive orders, he does not have the authority to unilaterally change laws, which he has done.”
Speaker Boehner was saying that he had no choice to sue Obama because of the existence of the Senate Democratic majority. Constitutionally, what the House Republicans should be doing instead of suing the president is passing appropriations bills then going to conference with the Senate, so that the House and Senate versions of appropriations bills can be reconciled into a final agreed upon bill. That’s how the budgeting process is supposed to work.
If House Republicans wanted to make a point to the president, they could make their cuts and then duke it out with the Senate. Since House Republicans have lost every big battle that they have fought over spending with the Senate, they are trying to ignore their constitutional duties by fleeing to the courts for help. House Republicans consistently dodged the reconciliation process. It took the failed government shutdown to get House Republicans to the table last year.
Polling has revealed that Speaker’s Boehner’s lawsuit against the president is very unpopular with the American people. A PPP poll found that 56% of voters said that the Boehner lawsuit is a waste of taxpayer money. Fifty-eight percent of Americans said that the lawsuit would not help their lives, and 63% believed that Congress should focus on creating jobs.
This poll was the reason why Boehner was trying to blame Democrats and run away from his decision to sue President Obama. The Speaker had a lot of other options instead of filing a lawsuit, but those options would involve House Republicans doing their jobs. The easiest path for Boehner and company is to file a silly lawsuit that the Republicans aren’t even trying to win.
House Republicans would rather play games than fulfill their duties under the Constitution. Boehner can run, but he can’t hide. Whether he wants to take responsibility for it or not, Speaker Boehner owns this lawsuit against President Obama.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association