Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., Thursday said White House press secretary Josh Earnest’s recent comments prove ‘raw politics’ were behind President Barack Obama’s decision to delay his executive amnesty until after the election. Earnest had said earlier in the week that Obama delayed action because he was worried Republicans would make political use of the issue.
"The fact, or I guess the concern, is that had the president moved forward with his announcement prior to Election Day, you would have seen Republican candidates do more to make the immigration issue central to their campaign," Earnest said. "And in the event that they were successful in their campaign, the concern would be that they would cite their opposition to immigration reform as a reason for their success. That is not a storyline that the president wanted, or that anybody here wanted to contribute to."
Boehner and Goodlatte released this statement:
“It’s shocking that the White House now openly admits that President Obama is delaying his unilateral actions on immigration until after the November elections simply because of raw politics. Whether before or after the election in November, it is never acceptable for the President to re-write our laws by executive decree – the Constitution does not give him the authority to do so. By taking unilateral action on immigration, President Obama will inject serious constitutional questions into an already heated debate. Such shortsighted actions will undermine the American people’s trust in the President’s commitment to enforcing our immigration laws and will further setback any chance of enacting immigration reform.”
Chairman Goodlatte wrote President Obama demanding that he reveal the executive amnesty recommendations he received from Homeland Secretary Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder. Nothing has been released to date.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., issued this statement:
“One is left breathless by the White House’s admission that it is timing its planned nullification of America’s immigration laws for after election day in the hope that it will spare Senate Democrats from the public’s wrath. Instead of rebelling against executive amnesty, Senate Democrats have supported it every step of the way. They continue to put their loyalty to Leader Reid and the White House ahead of the interests of the struggling American workers they are supposed to represent. America’s borders are not up for debate. Activist CEOs do not get to sit in a secret meeting at the White House, flanked by amnesty activists and Democrat consultants, and decide it’s time to scrub away our national boundaries. We must not let this happen. We will not let this happen. The people of this country will not tolerate the decimation of their laws, borders, and wages.”
The Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill cites sources saying Obama will delay action until after Congress has cleared another continuing stopgap funding bill, or perhaps until after Congress adjourns for the holidays. The existing continuing resolution expires on Dec. 11.
Obama had threatened to adopt an executive amnesty if Republicans do not move amnesty legislation through Congress. On Thursday he stepped up pressure on Republicans, saying they would be committing political “suicide” by not passing a comprehensive amnesty. "It's anyone's guess how Republicans are thinking about this,” Obama said at a California event. “If they’re thinking long-term politically, it is suicide for them not to do this.”
Obama portrayed Republicans as being out of touch with Hispanic voters, although his decision to delay executive amnesty was designed to protect congressional Democrats from the voters’ wrath.