WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama will propose broad-ranging executive action on immigration reform this summer that could provoke Republicans into trying to impeach him, a senior White House official said yesterday.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will propose broad-ranging executive action on immigration reform this summer that could provoke Republicans into trying to impeach him, a senior White House official said yesterday.
While details of the plan still are being worked on, it will mark “an important step in the arc of the presidency” that will shape both the substance and politics of immigration policy for years, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.
That move is certain to “increase the angry reaction from Republicans,” who already accuse Obama of exceeding his executive authority, Pfeiffer said, highlighting recent statements by former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin in which she backed an impeachment move.
“I would not discount the possibility” that Republicans would seek to impeach Obama, he said, adding that House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester, has “opened the door to impeachment” with his plans to sue Obama for allegedly exceeding his executive authority.
Boehner repeatedly has ruled out calls for impeachment proceedings that have come from a variety of more-conservative Republicans and has pushed back against those in the party who have stirred the effort. His proposal for a lawsuit alleging that Obama has exceeded his powers has been widely seen as an effort to tamp down those discussions.
Republican aides see Pfeiffer’s comments as an attempt to excite Democratic activists and donors in the roughly 100 days remaining before the midterm elections.
“We have a humanitarian crisis at our border, and the White House is making matters worse with inattention and mixed signals,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. “It is telling, and sad, that a senior White House official is focused on political games rather than helping these kids and securing the border.”