By Justin Sink
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that he has "great concerns" that President Obama might be exceeding his constitutional authority in ordering his administration to adjust regulations surrounding "underwater" mortgages and student loans, saying, "this idea that you are just going to go around the Congress is ... almost laughable."
"I thought we were a nation of laws and that our country was governed by our Constitution," Boehner said Thursday on the "Laura Ingraham Show."
Obama announced a series of programs this week that would enable those with mortgage or student loan debt to refinance to more favorable terms and repayment plans. The administration says such action was necessary after Republicans blocked the president's jobs plan proposal to stimulate the economy.
"We can't wait for Congress to do their job, so they won't act, I will. I told my administration, we're going to look every single day to see what we can do without Congress," Obama told students Wednesday at the University of Colorado-Denver.
But Boehner said that "committees of jurisdiction" in the House would be examining the proposals "to make sure that the president isn't exceeding his authority."
Ingraham then asked Boehner how he would respond if he believed that Obama was, in fact, acting outside what he is entitled to do under the law.
"We've got an appropriations process that's under control here where we have the ability to limit their use of funds to try to bring this administration to heel," Boehner said.
The Speaker also accused the president of "giving up" on the country, echoing the theme of Republican attacks blasting Obama for saying that the country had "gotten soft."
"There is nothing that has disappointed me more over the last eight weeks than to watch the President of the United States basically give up on the economy, and give up on the American people, decide he's going to quit governing, and spend his entire next 14 months campaigning," Boehner said.
The lead Republican went on to say that the president should try to find more areas of agreement between the two parties. That notion has been one of contention, with the president maintaining that his jobs proposal consisted entirely of ideas previously supported by Republicans.
"If the president is serious, he ought to be up here working with us to find common ground to solve the issues that the American people want us to solve," Boehner said.