President Barack Obama gave his cabinet a pep talk for executive actions Tuesday saying that, if Congress does not act on “core issues,” they will.
“What I’m going to be urging all of you to do, and what I’m going to be continually pushing throughout this year and for the next couple of years is that if Congress can’t act on core issues that would actually make a difference in helping middle-class families get ahead, then we’re going to have to be creative about how we can make real progress,” Obama said at a Tuesday cabinet meeting.
Obama stressed that he believes his executive actions have already been a success helping American families and that given Congress’ inaction, there should be more.
“Part of the reason that I wanted to bring the Cabinet together today is to underscore for them my belief-I think shared by most Americans-that we can’t wait for Congress to actually get going on issues that are vital to the middle class,” he said.
According to Obama, while he would prefer to work with Congress, if they are unable to get things done “then all of our Cabinet members here — and the head of big agencies that touch people’s live in all sorts of ways — and I’m going to be continuing looking for ways in which we can show some real progress.”
House Speaker John Boehner has said he is planning a lawsuit over Obama’s executive actions.
“I believe the president is not faithfully executing the laws of our country and, on behalf of the institution and our Constitution, standing up and fighting for this is in the best long-term interest of the Congress,” Boehner explained last week.
Monday Obama announced he will be taking more unilateral action to revamp the nation’s immigration system.
“America cannot wait forever for them to act. That’s why today I am beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress,” Obama said in his Rose Garden announcement.
Boehner fired back that Obama cannot be trusted to enact the laws Congress passes and blamed the president for the crisis of unaccompanied minors and family units flooding illegally across the border.
“It is sad and disappointing that – faced with this challenge – President Obama won’t work with us, but is instead intent on going it alone with executive orders that can’t and won’t fix these problems,” Boehner said. “The president’s own executive orders have led directly to the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, giving false hope to children and their families that if they enter the country illegally they will be allowed to stay.”
At his cabinet meeting, Obama doubled down but noted administrative action will not be the way to solve the problems plaguing the immigration system.
“Keep in mind that my preference is always going to be to work with Congress and to actually get legislation done,” he said. “That’s how we get some more of the permanent fixes. And as I mentioned yesterday with respect to immigration, whatever we do administratively is not going to be sufficient to solve a broken immigration system.”