House Republicans are mocking President Obama's plans to circumvent Congress to achieve key policy priorities and are not ruling out suing his administration for executive overreach.
House Republican leaders spoke during a Tuesday morning news conference, just hours before Obama delivers his sixth State of the Union address. They argued that if Obama really wants to boost economic growth and living conditions for middle-class Americans, he should work with them -- not around them -- on bipartisan jobs legislation. Obama's plan to rely on executive orders to push his agenda is expected to be a major theme of Tuesday evening's speech.
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Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, declined to rule out taking legal action against the White House if House Republicans determine that an Obama executive order unconstitutionally bypasses the legislative branch. Boehner said he does believe that Obama has the power to raise the minimum wage for employees hired to fulfill new government contracts, but said House Republicans would closely monitor the plethora of executive orders the president is vowing to pursue this year.
“House Republicans will continue to look closely, whether the president is faithfully executing the laws as he took an oath to do,” Boehner told reporters. “We’re going to watch very closely, because there’s a constitution that we all take an oath to.”
Meanwhile, House Republicans said they remain ready and willing to work with Obama to address jobs.