President Obama encouraged lawmakers to act on immigration reform but vowed Wednesday to take action “before the end of the year” if they delayed.
“It is my profound preference and interest to see Congress act on a comprehensive immigration reform bill that can strengthen our borders, and streamline our immigration system,” Obama said during a press conference at the White House.
The president said he would reach out to Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerMarch is the biggest month for GOP in a decade House markup of ObamaCare repeal bill up in the air Conservatives to Congress: Get moving MORE (R-Ohio), GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMarch is the biggest month for GOP in a decade This week: Trump makes first address to Congress Week ahead: Confirmation votes lined up for Energy, Interior picks MORE (R-Ky.) and Democratic leaders on a timetable to act. But he cautioned that he is “not going to just wait.”
President Obama is weighing executive actions on immigration but GOP senators have warned him against acting unilaterally.
Obama said Boehner had made a “sincere” effort to get a bill through the House earlier this year but said he would not hesitate to act alone.
“I feel obliged to do everything I can under my executive authority to make sure we don’t keep on making the system worse,” Obama said.
“Whatever executive actions that I take will be replaced and supplanted by action by Congress. You send me a bill I can sign those executive actions go away,” he added.