Boehner: 'No Alternative' to Defunding Executive Amnesty, Is Affront to Constitution


House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, spoke on the floor today in advance of votes on amendments that would block funding for President Obama’s executive amnesties. He spoke in favor of the amendments and mentioned 22 times in which the president said he could not implement amnesty without congressional approval.

The following are Speaker Boehner’s floor remarks:

“Let me thank all my colleagues who have worked to put this bill together. Today I rise – and the House rises – to support and defend our Constitution.

“We do not take this action lightly, but simply there is no alternative. This is not a dispute between the parties, or even between the branches of our government. This executive overreach is an affront to the rule of law and to the Constitution itself.

“I appreciate all the efforts of those working to fix our broken immigration system, especially since I’m one of them. But what we are dealing with is a president who has ignored the people, has ignored the Constitution, and even his own past statements.

“In fact, on at least 22 occasions, he said he did not have the authority to do what he has done.

“To think that the president of the United States studied constitutional law is one thing …. he taught it as well. But now his actions suggest he’s forgotten what these words even mean.

“Enough is enough. By their votes last November, the people made clear they want more accountability from this president. And by our votes here today, we will heed their will, and we will keep our oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

“22 times President Obama said he did not have the authority to take unilateral action on immigration.

“March 31, 2008: ‘I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with [the president] trying to … not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President...’

“May 19, 2008: ‘I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution of the United States.’

“May 5, 2010: ‘Anybody who tells you … that I can wave a magic wand and make it happen hasn't been paying attention to how this town works.’

“July 1, 2010: ‘[T]here are those … who have argued passionately that we should … at least ignore the laws on the books... I believe such an indiscriminate approach would be both unwise and unfair.’

“October 14, 2010: ‘I do have an obligation to make sure that I am following some of the rules. I can't simply ignore laws that are out there.’

“October 25, 2010: ‘I am president, I am not king. I can't do these things just by myself. … I can't just make the laws up by myself.’

“March 28, 2011: ‘America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the President, am obligated to enforce the law.’

“April 20, 2011: ‘I can't solve this problem by myself. … I can't do it by myself.’

“April 29, 2011: ‘Some here wish that I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself. But that’s not how democracy works’

“May 10, 2011: ‘They wish I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself. But that’s not how a democracy works.’

“July 25, 2011: ‘The idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. … But that's not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That's not how our Constitution is written.’

“September 28, 2011: ‘We live in a democracy. You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it.’

“September 20, 2012: ‘What I’ve always said is, as the head of the executive branch, there’s a limit to what I can do.’

“October 16, 2012: ‘We're … a nation of laws. … And I've done everything that I can on my own.’

“January 30, 2013: ‘I'm not a king. I am the head of the executive branch of government. I'm required to follow the law.’

“January 30, 2013: ‘I’m not a king. You know, my job as the head of the executive branch ultimately is to carry out the law.’

“February 14, 2013: ‘The problem is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States.’

“July 16, 2013: ‘I think that it is very important for us to recognize that the way to solve this problem has to be legislative.’

“September 17, 2013: ‘My job in the executive branch is supposed to be to carry out the laws that are passed. … But if we start broadening that, then essentially I would be ignoring the law…’

“November 25, 2013: ‘The easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws. … That’s not our tradition.’

“March 6, 2014: ‘And I cannot ignore those laws any more than I could ignore … any of the other laws that are on the books.’

“August 6, 2014: ‘I’m bound by the Constitution; I’m bound by separation of powers.’”

Read an analysis in the Daily Mail and the president’s full quotes.

Obama's executive amnesties
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