House Speaker John Boehner is eying another lawsuit against President Barack Obama — this time against his executive actions to protect nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation.
The Ohioan privately discussed his plans in a House Republican conference meeting on Tuesday.
“We are finalizing a plan to authorize litigation on this issue — one we believe gives us the best chance of success,” he told his members, according to a source in the room.
Boehner is considering a resolution to authorize the House to “take a variety of legal actions” against Obama on immigration, much as it did last year over Obama’s unilateral tweaks to Obamacare implementation, a Republican leadership aide familiar with his plans told TPM.
The aide said the legal actions could include a standalone lawsuit by the House, or a move to join a lawsuit by several dozen states.
The aide stressed that Republicans “will continue to vigorously pursue legislative options” to stop Obama, including the House-passed bill to fund DHS while reversing the president’s immigration actions.
Boehner’s move, first reported by National Journal, comes as GOP leaders face enormous pressure from conservatives to withhold funding for the Department of Homeland Security unless Obama’s immigration actions are overturned. The president has made clear he’ll veto any such bill, putting Republicans in an unenviable bind between their base and and the need to maintain homeland security funding.
A lawsuit may be an attempt to placate conservatives and avert a shutdown.
Asked about DHS funding on Tuesday, Boehner was mum about next steps.
“There’s no reason for me to speculate on what we will or won’t do,” he told reporters. “At this point it’s up to the Senate to act and I expect that they will soon.”