Speaker of the House: President Has Acted 'Far Beyond His Constitutional Authority'

By Susan Jones | March 2, 2015 | 7:02am EST

"The House has acted. We've done our job. Senate Democrats are the ones putting us in this precarious position," Speaker John A. Boehner said about a bill to fund Homeland Security and defund amnesty. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - As Democrats and even some Republicans blast conservatives for refusing to pass a clean Homeland Security funding bill, House Speaker John Boehner said on Sunday it's important to look at why this is happening:

"But remember what is causing this," Boehner told CBS's "Face the Nation."

"It's the president of the United States overreaching. And that's not just on immigration. You know, 38 times he made unilateral changes to Obamacare -- many of these, I believe, far beyond his constitutional authority to do so.

"And so the frustration in the country, represented through the frustration of our members, has people scared to death that the president is just running the country right off the cliff."

Boehner noted that President Obama "took actions with regard to immigration that were far beyond what the law allows him to do." Obama himself said 22 different times that he didn't have the authority to do what he eventually ended up doing.

"I made it clear we were going to do everything we could to block the president's executive overreach," Boehner said. "And that's the basis of the problem that we're trying to deal with."

Boehner described the House as a "rambunctious" chamber, with its 435 members having "a lot of different ideas about what we should and shouldn't be doing."

Conservative Republicans insist that a DHS funding bill should include an amendment that bars funding for President Obama's executive amnesty, including Social Security Numbers for millions of illegal immigrants. Democrats refuse to even consider such an amendment, and now a number of Republicans want to give up on it.

The House on Friday passed a stopgap bill to keep money flowing to DHS for an additional week while the argument continues. Republican leaders are now insisting on negotiations with the Senate, which passed a clean DHS funding bill -- one without an immigration rider -- on Friday.

"We want to go to conference with the Senate," Boehner said. "Now, they have made clear that they don't want to go to conference, that they're going to have a vote. And when they--if they vote, in fact, not to go to conference, this bill may be coming back to the House."

And what if the action does shift again to the House? Boehner was asked if he has promised Democrat leaders that he will bring up a clean DHS funding bill for a vote in the House later this week:

"The promise I made to Ms. Pelosi is the same promise I made to Republicans, that we would follow regular order," Boehner responded. "The bill is back in the Senate. We have asked for a conference with the Senate. And the Senate majority leader at the time, in May of 2013, said--and I quote--"We aren't afraid to try to resolve our differences in a conference committee." This has been the custom of the Senate and the House of Representatives for almost 200 years."

Asked if it's easier to deal with Democrats or conservative members of  his own party, Boehner said, "I like dealing with both parties."

He also acknowledged that House Republicans "get in an argument over tactics from time to time."

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) echoed Boehner:

"This President has created this frustration. And, remember, you see a frustration in the House. That is reflective and representative the frustration in our district. This president doesn't want to work with the American public. He's creating these problems when we're trying to work it out. The best thing that can happen is that we go to conference, and we settle our differences."

McCarthy also insisted that despite a "difference of opinion" on strategy and tactics, Republicans are "united" in principle. "We are united in the principle there is a right way and wrong way to legislate. Unfortunately, the president chose the wrong way."

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