By Justin Sink
The delay in his review of deportation policies is part of President Obama "playing politics" with the nation's immigration laws, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday.
"Enforcing the law as written isn't a 'concession' — it is the president's solemn responsibility," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said. "Now isn't the time to be playing politics with immigration enforcement or our national security."
"While the review is ongoing, the president believes there is an opportunity for congressional action this summer, and has asked Secretary [Jeh] Johnson to hold on releasing any results from his review while this window for congressional action remains open," a Department of Homeland Security official said Tuesday.
But the chilly response from Boehner's office would seem to indicate the delay might not do much to help move House Republicans on a bill.
Last week, Boehner said there was “nobody more interested in fixing this problem than I am” but blamed the president for reticence among lawmakers to move ahead with a bill. Boehner argued the president’s implementation of ObamaCare had eroded trust in his ability to enforce immigration reform.
"When he continues to ignore ObamaCare, his own law, 38 unilateral delays, he reduces the confidence of the American people in his willingness to implement an immigration law the way we would pass it," he said.
Obama, for his part, blasted Republicans for having "refused to budge on bipartisan legislation to fix our immigration system" during a Democratic fundraiser last week.
He said that opposition came “despite the fact that every economist who’s looked at it says it's going to improve our economy, cut our deficits, help spawn entrepreneurship, and alleviate great pain from millions of families all across the country."
“When we talk about immigration reform, there’s no wild-eyed romanticism,” the president continued. “We say we're going to be tough on the borders, but let’s also make sure that the system works to allow families to stay together.”