WH counsel: GOP suit won't change plans

 

House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) threatened lawsuit will not alter President Obama's plans in any way, the president's top lawyer vowed in an interview published Monday.

"As I used to tell clients in private practice, anybody can sue anybody over anything," White House chief counsel Neil Eggleston said in an interview with The Associated Press. "The fact that he's going to say that he's going to bring some lawsuit is not going to affect what the president is going to do."

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Eggleston, who took over as chief counsel in May, also predicted that the Speaker's lawsuit would be quickly dismissed because it lacked legal standing.

In an op-ed published over the weekend, Boehner reasserted he would bring legislation to the floor later this month authorizing "the House of Representatives to file suit in an effort to compel President Obama to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of our country.”

"Too often over the past five years, the president has circumvented the American people and their elected representatives through executive action, changing and creating his own laws, and excusing himself from enforcing statutes he is sworn to uphold — at times even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the American people to stop him,” Boehner wrote.

In the piece, Boehner said that in his view, Obama had "not faithfully executed the laws when it comes to a range of issues, including his health care law, energy regulations, foreign policy and education."

But the Speaker stopped short of saying exactly what he planned to sue the president over.

The threatened lawsuit has provoked a defiant response from Democrats, who say it underscores the president's willingness to act where Congress would not. During an event last week, Obama said he would not apologize "for doing something" while Republican lawmakers do nothing.

"Middle-class families can't wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff," Obama said. "So sue me."