Obama to press executive authority

 

President Obama will tout his increasingly controversial use of executive authority during a speech in Austin on Thursday, as the White House tries to emphasize the ways the president has gone around an ineffective Congress. 

The White House also plans to release a report detailing more than 40 actions the administration has taken since January, according to an aide.

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"Today in Austin, the President will discuss these actions and update the American people on the progress we’ve made, working with all who are willing to be a part of the solution — including state and local officials, companies large and small and ordinary citizens," the White House official said.

The aide said Obama will contrast his approach with Republicans heading "the least productive Congress in recent history."

At an event Wednesday in Colorado, Obama mocked GOP lawmakers who were "mad at me for going ahead and doing things."

"I don't know which things they find most offensive, whether it's creating jobs, or easing student loan burdens, or raising wages, but it's really bothering them," he added. "They have a plan to sue me. They have plans to sue me for taking executive actions that are within my authority, while they do nothing."

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has accused Obama of violating the constitution with his use of executive powers, and said he will bring legislation to the House floor before lawmakers dismiss for the August recess that would enable him to file suit against the president.

Boehner has said that the lawsuit is not intended as a prelude to impeachment, and on Wednesday told reporters he does not support proceedings to remove the president from office.

Although he has not detailed what exactly the lawsuit will address, it's likely to be a challenge on one of the president's more controversial executive actions — including multiple delays to provisions of his signature healthcare law.

While in Austin, Obama will also meet with a University of Texas college student who wrote him about her family's struggles to pay the bills.

In recent weeks, the White House has used outings with regular Americans who contacted the White House as photo ops for the president as he travels to fundraisers to support Democrats ahead of the midterm elections this fall. On Wednesday night, Obama met with donors at the Austin home of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez.