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.
His comments were delivered a day after Republicans captured Senate control and expanded their majority in the House.
The president said he would reach out to Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Debt ceiling games endanger US fiscal credibility — again MORE (R-Ohio), GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats 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.