Friday morning, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) convened a press conference to react and respond to the president’s historic speech last night.
“The action by the president will only encourage more people to come here illegally,” he said flatly.
He reminded reporters about the unprecedented humanitarian crisis on the U.S. southern border last summer. The president’s announcement, he argued, will only prolong and exacerbate the situation. He also noted that the president’s executive amnesty was unfair.
“This action also punishes those who have obeyed the law and waited their turn,” he said. “With this [amnesty], the president has chosen to deliberately sabotage any bipartisan reforms he claims to seek.”
“And [as] I said yesterday,” he added, “he is damaging the presidency.”
He then opened up the floor to questions. Responding to one reporter, he said that the president’s actions and pronouncements essentially made bipartisanship “impossible.”
“The president made 38 unilateral changes to the Affordable Care Act…the president suggested repeatedly he would change immigration law,” he intoned. “[So] trying to find a way to work together was virtually impossible.”
“We have a broken immigration system and the American people expect us to fix it,” he continued. “And we ought to do it through the democratic process.