Tags: gop | obama | immigration

Obama Lunch Doesn't Ease Republican Fight on Immigration Plans

Image: Obama Lunch Doesn't Ease Republican Fight on Immigration Plans
(Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Friday, 07 Nov 2014 12:35 PM

House Speaker John Boehner warned President Barack Obama at a White House luncheon today against taking executive action to let undocumented immigrants stay in the U.S., according to a statement from Boehner’s office.

“Unilateral action by the president on executive amnesty will erase any chances of doing immigration reform and will also make it harder for Congress and the White House to work together successfully on other areas,” according to the e-mailed statement.

Obama hosted Boehner, an Ohio Republican, and other members of the congressional leadership of both parties three days after the midterm election when Republicans gained control of the Senate and increased their majority in the House. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, another Republican attendee, issued a statement condemning Obama’s position on immigration.

“It is my sincere hope that he will reverse course and work with us – not around us – to secure the border and achieve real reforms to our immigration system,” Cornyn said.

Obama has said that while he plans to push his agenda through executive action no matter what Republicans do, he also wants to find ways to pass legislation where there’s common ground.

The group dined in the White House’s formal Old Family Dining Room, enjoying sea bass and a pumpkin dessert. The session lasted about two hours.

Obama told reporters before the lunch that he planned to discuss funding to combat Ebola in Africa, authorization to use military strikes against Islamic State militants and an agenda for the next Congress. Also attending the luncheon was Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican who is poised to be majority leader starting in January.

“The one thing that I’ve committed to both Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell is that I am not going to judge ideas based on whether they’re Democratic or Republican,” Obama said. “I’m going to be judging them based whether or not they work.”

Obama is also seeking to mend relations with Democrats in Congress after the party suffered losses in this week’s elections that were greater than polls had predicted.

He’s trying to prod lawmakers into action during the 15 to 20 days they’ll be in session before the end of the year. In addition to the Ebola funding and military authorization, the administration wants confirmation for some of its nominees that are pending in the Senate, while that chamber is still in the hands of Democrats.

Obama today said he’d ask Congress to approve $5.6 billion in added funds for the Pentagon and State Department to fight Islamic State, including by retraining Iraqi military forces. The White House disclosed the request during the meeting with lawmakers.

Obama has said he will take executive action on immigration before year’s end and that he doesn’t expect lawmakers to pass a bill to change U.S. immigration law before then.

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House Speaker John Boehner warned President Barack Obama at a White House luncheon today against taking executive action to let undocumented immigrants stay in the U.S., according to a statement from Boehner's office. "Unilateral action by the president on executive amnesty...
gop, obama, immigration
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2014-35-07
Friday, 07 Nov 2014 12:35 PM
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