John Boehner's Post-Midterms Speech Warned Obama Is "Burning Himself" If The President Passes His Own Reforms
Well, the 144th Congress just got off to an awkward start. House Speaker John Boehner delivered his first public address on Thursday since the Republican Party swept races across the country, taking control of the Senate and expanding their hold on the House. It's clear that Boehner was very, very, very happy about Tuesday night's results, taking time during the Capitol Hill press conference to give President Barack Obama an ominous warning: try anything and you're going down in flames. Should be a fun two years!
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Boehner outlined the GOP-controlled Congress' plan for Obama's lame-duck presidency. As you probably already guessed, repealing the Affordable Care Act is at the top of Republican lawmakers' list. However, Boehner acknowledged that even though the House will vote to reverse the law, it may not make it past even a Republican-controlled Senate:
Obamacare is hurting our families. It's hurting middle-class families, and it's hurting the ability for employers to create more jobs. The House, I'm sure, at some point next year will move to repeal Obamacare, because it should be repealed and it should be replaced with common sense reforms that respect the doctor-patient relationship. Now, whether or not that can pass the Senate, I don't know.
So why try repealing it again? It's the trying that counts, the House speaker said. He added that certain provisions of the ACA could be reversed with bipartisan support, including the individual mandate.
Obviously invigorated by his party's major gains on Tuesday, Boehner had some tough love for Obama. On Wednesday, the president said in a news conference that the next two years would be "productive" despite the opposition. However, Obama made it clear that he would try to push forward on an executive order for immigration reform by the end of 2014, and that there would be action taken against certain bills, presumably any repeals to the ACA:
Congress will pass some bills I cannot sign. I’m pretty sure I’ll take some actions that some in Congress will not like.
Responding to Obama's promise to push immigration reform via executive order, Boehner said it would political suicide:
I've made clear to the president if he acts unilaterally on his own outside of his authority he will poison the well and there will be no chance for immigration reform moving forward in this Congress. It's as simple as that.
According to Boehner, if the president is "playing with matches" when it comes to immigration reform — and he will go down because of it. The House Speaker said Obama risks "burning" himself, and " he's going to burn himself if he continues to go down that path."Those are some fightin' words.
Although Boehner promised to work with Obama on passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill, it's suspect if such a bill would pass both a Republican-controlled Senate and House. In 2013, the Democrat-controlled Senate approved an immigration reform bill that created a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, yet the bill was rejected by House Republicans. Many Republicans considered the reform "amnesty" for undocumented immigrants.
With health care, immigration reform and possible reproductive rights legislation on the table, it does look like the next two years will be "productive" for Obama — but only time will tell if it's for the better or for the worst.
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