U.S.

Boehner To Sue Obama Over Executive Action

The House Speaker says the president has failed in his duties as president to execute the law.

Boehner To Sue Obama Over Executive Action
Flickr / Speaker John Boehner
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Republican House Speaker John Boehner confirmed to reporters Wednesday he plans to sue the president over his use of executive action, saying President Obama has overstepped his authority by side-stepping Congress. (Via Flickr / Speaker John Boehner)

"You know the constitution makes it clear that the president’s job is to faithfully execute the laws and in my view the President has not faithfully executed the laws." (Via C-SPAN)

In CNN's words, Republicans say the president is "Breaching his constitutional power by side-stepping the legislative process" through executive orders on controversial topics like "gun control, climate change, minimum wage, gay marriage, power plants, healthcare, immigration." (Via CNN)

And then, of course, the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap is still fresh in the minds of lawmakers. Boehner says Obama broke the law by not notifying Congress within 30 days of the prisoner transfer — Obama says he kept it quiet because of security concerns. (Via Storyful / Al Emara)

But, it's important to note President Obama has actually issued fewer executive actions per day than most of his predecessors.

This graph by Brookings shows Obama ranking below former presidents Bush and Clinton.

And many say the president has had to perform so many executive actions because congress is becoming less and less productive. This Vox illustration shows fewer laws being passed with each Congressional session. (Via Datawrapper / Vox)

Obama said 2014 would be a self-proclaimed "year of action." He even told his cabinet members, ​“We're not just going to be waiting for legislation to make sure that we're providing Americans with the kind of help that they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward in helping to make sure our kids are getting the best education possible ." (Via The White House)

Boehner's lawsuit means the legislative branch is suing the executive branch and is leaving it up the judiciary branch to decide if the president has abused his power.

"We were doing research, and this is very interesting unprecedented legal ground. This has never really happened before in this magnitude, at least recently regarding a lawsuit over executive actions." (Via MSNBC)

In response, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accused House Republicans of being childish. 

"I make of it a subterfuge. As I said, they're doing nothing here. And so they have to give some aura of activity. There really needs to be an adult in that room in the Republican caucus." (Via Politico)

ABC states Boehner will ask the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to file a lawsuit against the president. This group consists of senior House leadership, who are responsible for instructing the House General Council to take legal action.

In a memo to House Republicans, Boehner shared his plans to bring legislation authorizing the lawsuit to the floor in July.