U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) says he will support House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) plans to sue President Barack Obama. The basis of the lawsuit would address the issue of compelling the president to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of the country.
Speaker Boehner announced his plans for a lawsuit in a memo to his House colleagues on Wednesday, June 25.
In the memo, Boehner said he will take legal action against the president, claiming that the president has exceeded his executive authority by implementing policies without congressional approval. The House will vote in July on legislation authorizing a campaign-season lawsuit. Boehner said the House “must act as an institution to defend the constitutional principles at stake.”
The president has a record of issuing controversial executive orders regarding issues over which the House and Senate have found themselves gridlocked.
On June 26, Blunt announced his support of Boehner as he renewed his call for the U.S. Senate to vote on his legislation – the “Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments of the Law (ENFORCE the Law) Act, a bill to ensure the president upholds his constitutional obligation to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The legislation follows closely the same issues that Boehner’s proposed lawsuit is addressing.
Speaking of his legislation, Blunt said, “It’s time for Congress to tell President Obama: You cannot ignore the law. The president’s ‘pen and phone’ do not supersede the U.S. Constitution.”
“The House already passed this bill (ENFORCE the Law), and the Senate should allow a vote immediately. The president has a constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the laws of our country,” Blunt said.
Boehner said Americans have watched for years with concern as the president has declined to faithfully execute those laws.
“On one matter after another during his presidency, President Obama has circumvented the Congress through executive action, creating his own laws and excusing himself from executing statutes he is sworn to enforce – at times even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the American people to stop him from acting on matters ranging from health care and energy to foreign policy and education,” Boehner said.
Additionally, Boehner said the president had promised to adopt his “pen and phone” doctrine due to the failures of the Democratic Senate and the Republican House to come to agreements on energy, immigration and other key issues. And on June 30, Newsmax Wires reported Obama’s announcement that he would take executive action to reform the U.S. immigration system after hopes of passing legislation in Congress officially died.
Boehner claims the president’s use of executive authority “shifts the balance of power decisively and dangerously in favor of the presidency, giving the president king-like authority at the expense of the American people and their elected legislators.”
“If the current president can selectively enforce, change or create laws as he chooses with impunity, without the involvement of the legislative branch, his successors will be able to do the same,” Boehner said.
His memo to House colleagues, issued June 25, states: “I will bring to the floor legislation in July that would authorize the House of Representatives … to file suit in the coming weeks in an effort to compel the president to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of our country. The legislation would follow regular order and be considered by the Rules Committee following its introduction, prior to its consideration by the full House.”
Democrats have claimed that Boehner’s lawsuit is politically motivated and could create a negative backlash for Republicans .
Speaking to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Obama said, “The suit is a stunt, but what I’ve told Speaker Boehner directly is, ‘If you’re really concerned about me taking too many executive actions, why don’t you try getting something done through Congress?’”