The four top congressional leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner and potential Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have an appointment at the White House on Friday — and it could get testy.
Ahead of that session, leading Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer went on CNN with a blunt warning: the president intends to change immigration policy by executive order unless Congress — including many members who’ve just been voted out of office — passes a reform bill during the upcoming lame duck session.
“If the Congress does not consider comprehensive immigration reform in the coming weeks, before the end of this year, the president will sign an executive order changing the rules?” Wolf Blitzer asked.
Pfeiffer answered: “He will use, by the end of the year, what options are legally available to him to try to fix our broken immigration system.” Pfeiffer made it clear that means amnesty. “The families who will be affected by this cannot wait on the hope that Congress will do it,” Pfeiffer added.
Earlier in the day, Speaker Boehner had warned the White House not to try to act on its own. “I’ve made clear to the president that if he acts unilaterally on his own outside of his authority, he will poison the well and there will be no chance for immigration reform moving in this Congress,” Boehner said. “When you play with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself. And he’s going to burn himself if he continues to go down this path.”
That followed a news conference where McConnell, who’s expected to become Senate Majority Leader in the next Congress, warned that “the president choosing to do a lot of things unilaterally on immigration would be a big mistake. It’s an issue that most of my members want to address. It’s like waving a red flag in front of able bull to say I will do it on my own.”