US President Barack Obama has mocked Republican
lawmakers' plan to file a lawsuit against him for using his
executive authority to make policy, saying Congress had forced
his hand by failing to take action.
"The suit is a stunt," Obama said in an interview with ABC
News that aired on Friday (local time).
House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on
Wednesday he planned take legal action alleging the president
has abused his executive authority by implementing policies
without congressional approval.
"I'm not going to apologise for trying to do something while
they're doing nothing," Obama said.
As an example, Obama pointed to efforts to overhaul the US
immigration system and said there was wide public support for
Sweeping legislation passed the Democratic-controlled Senate
last year, but the plan has stalled in the
Republican-controlled House, which is led by Boehner.
Republicans say the administration must first secure the US
borders before easing immigration restrictions.
"What I've told Speaker Boehner directly is: If you're really
concerned about me taking too many executive actions, why
don't you try getting something done through Congress?" Obama
"You're going to squawk if I try to fix some parts of it
administratively that are within my authority while you're
not doing anything?" he said, referring to congressional
Boehner's spokesman, Michael Steel, rejected the president's
criticism, saying: "The American people, their elected
representatives, and the Supreme Court have all expressed
serious concerns about the president's failure to follow the
Constitution. Dismissing them with words like ... 'stunt'
only reinforces their frustration."
The Obama administration has insisted immigration reform is
not dead and that it still hopes a comprehensive bill can
pass Congress. But it has also said it is considering
executive actions to change deportation policies.
Other presidents have also actively invoked executive
actions. During his first four years in office, Obama signed
147 such orders. In comparison, George W. Bush signed 173,
Bill Clinton enacted 200 and Ronald Reagan ordered 213 in
their first terms.