President Obama repeated the threat of unilateral executive action on immigration Sunday.
The President stated that he intends to change U.S. immigration law through executive action, over Republican leaders’ repeated requests to wait and dire warnings about the consequences of going around Congress.
President Obama in an interview with CBS Face the Nation said, “I’m going to do what I need to do” The interview was taped on Friday.
The president said he would prefer that reform legislation come through Congress, but said he has waited for more than a year for House Speaker John Boehner to pass a bill like the Democrat-controlled Senate has done.
“If a bill gets passed, nobody would be happier than me,” Obama said.
His remarks followed similar ones made Wednesday, which brought dire warnings from Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that were followed by more on Sunday.
“I believe [executive action] will hurt cooperation on every issue,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told “Fox News Sunday.” “I think it would be like the president pulling the pin out of a hand grenade and throwing it in as we are trying to actually work together. I am hoping that cooler heads at the White House can prevail.”
The statement by Sen Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, followed Boehner warning Obama that using executive action would “poison the well” and McConnell, who will likely be the Senate majority leader next year, comparing it to waving a red flag in front of a bull.
However Obama did say “Their time hasn’t run out,” And argued that legislation passed by Congress would supersede his executive action.
The president has been under constant pressure to use executive action on immigration reform, after promising Americans that he would by the end of summer, then delaying any action until after the midterms, which upset Democrats’ strong Hispanic base.
Obama also said Sunday that inaction is a “mis-allocation of resources” and that the country cannot continue to deport people who should be allowed to stay and keep those who should leave.