House Speaker John Boehner warned President Obama on Thursday against acting on an immigration-related executive order and said the House will vote again to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The comments come two days after Republicans swept the electorate, picking up more than 10 seats in the House and taking control of the Senate, and continue the war of attrition between the two parties, as Democratic and Republican leaders test how far they can push the other side.
"I've made clear to the president that if he acts unilaterally on his own, outside of his authority, he will poison the well and there will be no chance for immigration reform moving in this Congress, it's as simple as that," Boehner told reporters in his first Capitol press conference since the election.
Boehner was largely in step with soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said Wednesday that immigration reform would be unlikely if Obama granted legal status to undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Boehner and McConnell penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal outlining their vision, including repealing the health care law. But both men have acknowledged that doing so is practically unlikely, because Obama would veto it and they do not have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
"The House, I'm sure, at some point next year will vote to repeal Obamacare because it should be repealed," Boehner told reporters. "Now, whether that can pass the Senate, I don't know. But I know in the House it will pass."
Like McConnell, Boehner said he will try to pick apart elements of the law, such as the mandate that individuals buy insurance, the definition of a full-time workweek as 30 hours, and the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel created to control costs in Medicare, but which Republicans have attacked as a health care rationing body.
Daniel Newhauser is a staff correspondent for National Journal, where he primarily covers the House of Representatives. He was formerly a House leadership reporter for Roll Call, where he started as an intern in 2010 and quickly earned a slot as a beat reporter.
A native of San Antonio, Texas, Newhauser traveled further West to study journalism at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and write for newspapers including the East Valley Tribune and the Green Valley News & Sun.