Boehner on Obama's Unilateral Amnesty: 'No Decision Has Been Made as to How We Will Fight'

By Terence P. Jeffrey | November 13, 2014 | 11:25pm EST

House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

( - House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday did not directly answer the question of whether he supported putting language in the bill Congress must pass by Dec. 11 to fund the government that would prohibit President Obama from spending any money to carry out his plan to unilaterally legalize illegal aliens.

When a reporter asked Boehner if he supported putting such language in the must-pass spending bill, Boehner said: "You know, the president is threatening to take unilateral action on immigration, even though in the past he's made clear he didn't believe he had the constitutional responsibility or authority to do that. And I'll just say this: We're going to fight the president tooth and nail if he continues down this path.

"This is the wrong way to govern," Boehner said. "This is exactly what the American people said on Election Day they didn't want.

"So all of the options are on the table," said Boehner. "We're having discussion with our members and no decision has been made as to how we will fight this if he proceeds."

A reporter followed up: "A government funding bill could have that strict language, you're leaving that option open?"

"All options are on the table," Boehner repeated. "We're going to have conversations with our members, and when we have a decision we'll let you know."

A reporter then asked: "You've said before, though, that a government shutdown should be off the table. A government shutdown is not good for the party or the country. Why not take it off the table now?"

Boehner then said: "Our goal here is to stop the president from violating his oath of office and violating the Constitution. It's not to shut down the government."

A reporter asked: "Do you believe there is a mechanism by which you can stop him?"

"We are looking at all options," Boehner repeated again. "They're on the table. Our goal is to stop the president from doing this."

"Do you think you can, though?" a reporter asked.

"Well, we'll find out," said Boehner.

"Other than the power of the purse, what other options are you looking at?" a reporter asked.

"Well, you know, every administration needs this and needs that, needs all kinds of things," said Boehner. "And you know, if he wants to go off on his own, there are things that he's just not going to get."

Similarly, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did not state that he would support language in the government funding bill that is needed to keep the government going after Dec. 11 that would prohibit Obama from implementing a unilateral legalization of illegal aliens.

At the beginning of his own press conference on Thursday, McConnell said, "I have been very disturbed by the way the president has proceeded in the wake of the election." Among the things that disturbed McConnell were the president's "apparent determination to move ahead on immigration with Executive Orders."

A reporter noted that some Republicans were calling for using the spending bill to prohibit Obama's amnesty, and asked McConnell if he could follow through on his "pledge to have no government shutdown if the president goes ahead with his executive order."

"We will not be shutting the government down or threatening to default on the national debt," McConnell said.

Another reporter asked McConnell what he thought the Republicans should do in the lame duck session of the outgoing Congress and once the new Congress arrives to respond to Obama's plan to unilaterally legalize illegal aliens.

"What we've said is that we hope the president isn't going to do that," said McConnell.

"I don't think there is anybody in our conference who doesn't think the current system is a mess and we would like to improve it," said McConnell. "The president has been told over and over and over again, and we're telling him again today, don't do this because his executive actions are not permanent changes. You know, they won't necessarily be there under the next president."

"We want the president to recognize the reality that he has the government that he had and not that he wishes he had and work with us to try to find a way to improve our immigration system," said McConnell.

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