Defiant Obama Goads Republicans On Immigration Reform (VIDEO)
The 2014 mid-term drubbing of the Democrats was barely a few hours old when Obama held a presser Wednesday, outlining his strategy for the final quarter of his tumultuous presidency. Not ready to concede his legacy just yet, his tone was only cautiously conciliatory.
On immigration, he left no doubt that he was ready to act unilaterally, saying that the GOP could expect him to take executive action;
“…before the end of the year, we’re going to take whatever lawful actions that I can take, that I believe will improve the functioning of our immigration system, that will allow us to surge additional resources to the border, where I think the vast majority of Americans have the deepest concern.”
The warning did not go unnoticed by key obstructionist Republicans, with House Speaker John Boehner saying on Thursday that he;
“… 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…”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.”
On Sunday, Obama made an appearance on CBS News’ Face The Nation and doubled down.
When asked by host Bob Shieffer if Obama was telling congressional Republicans on Wednesday that their time to enact comprehensive immigration reform had “run out,’ the President responded;
“What I’m saying to them – actually their time hasn’t run out – I’m going to do what I can do through executive action …the minute that they pass a bill that deals with the problems of immigration reform, I will sign it and it supersedes whatever actions I take, and I’m encouraging them to do so. On parallel track we’re going to be implementing an executive action, but if in fact a bill gets passed, nobody’s going to be happier than me to sign it. Because that means it will be permanent rather than temporary.
So, they have the ability, the authority, the control to supersede anything I do through my authority by carrying out their functions over there. And if in fact it’s true that they want to pass a bill, they’ve got good ideas, nobody’s stopping them, and the minute they do it, the minute I sign that bill, what I’ve done goes away.”
Now, of course, the same Republicans who have been loathe to deal with any sort of immigration reforms whatsoever in Obama’s first 6 years have been painted in to a corner. They either pass a reform bill, or risk further alienating the growing Hispanic electorate in 2016.
Well played, Mr. President.
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