Politics & Government

Defiant Boehner warns Obama: Act alone on immigration and you’ll “poison the well”

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 6, 2014.
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 6, 2014. AP

A defiant House Speaker John Boehner Thursday issued a sharp warning to President Barack Obama: The president is “going to burn himself” if he acts unilaterally on immigration.

Boehner, R-Ohio, in his first news conference since Election Day, also said the House of Representatives could vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That’s likely to pass the House, and perhaps the Senate, but get vetoed by Obama.

Obama said earlier this week he’s considering acting on his own on immigration. He said he’d reach out to Republican leaders, and if they want to get a bill done, “I am eager to see what they have to offer.”

But, the president added, “What I'm not going to do is just wait.”

Act alone, Boehner told a news conference, and he’ll probably doom any chance an immigration overhaul would have in Congress.

“If he acts unilaterally, on his own, outside of his authority, he will poison the well and there will be no chance of immigration reform moving through this Congress,” Boehner warned.

The speaker said he did want to deal with immigration, but it’s become a “political football.”

The Senate last year passed comprehensive immigration legislation with 52 Democrats, 14 Republicans and two independents voting yes, but it got nowhere in the House.

Boehner said he did want to work with the Obama administration, and laid out five priorities: “Fix our broken tax code;

address the debt that’s hurting our economy and imprisoning the future of our kids and grandkids, reform our legal system.

Reshape our regulatory policy to make bureaucrats more accountable and give parents more choices in a system that isn’t educating enough of America’s children.”

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