Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbyists bounce back under Trump Business groups silent on Trump's Ex-Im nominee Chaffetz won't run for reelection MORE (R-Ohio) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteBob GoodlatteGOP lays out regulatory reform wish list As former Copyright Office leaders, we support an autonomous register of copyrights The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Va.) accused President Obama of "raw politics" for delaying executive action on immigration until after the elections.
The two seized on a recent comment from White House press secretary Josh Earnest that the decision to delay action until after November’s midterms was because of concerns Republicans would use the issue to make political hay.
"And in the event that they were successful in their campaign, the concern would be that they would cite their opposition to immigration reform as a reason for their success. That is not a storyline that the president wanted, or that anybody here wanted to contribute to."
Boehner and Goodlatte said the on-the-record acknowledgement of the politics behind the decision was "shocking."
"It’s shocking that the White House now openly admits that President Obama is delaying his unilateral actions on immigration until after the November elections simply because of raw politics," they said in a joint statement.
The top House Republicans have long made it clear they don't think Obama should issue the executive actions in the first place.
"Whether before or after the election in November, it is never acceptable for the president to rewrite our laws by executive decree — the Constitution does not give him the authority to do so,” they wrote.
“By taking unilateral action on immigration, President Obama will inject serious constitutional questions into an already heated debate.”
The Speaker and committee chairman with jurisdiction over the issue concluded that such a move by the White House would make it even harder for lawmakers to act on an immigration overhaul.
"Such shortsighted actions will undermine the American people’s trust in the President’s commitment to enforcing our immigration laws and will further set back any chance of enacting immigration reform," they said.
Capitol Hill sources have indicated that the president will wait until after Congress has cleared a new appropriations bill, or potentially until after Congress adjourns for the holidays, to issue the executive action. The current stopgap funding bill expires on Dec. 11.