WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama and Republicans who swept midterm Congressional elections headed toward a showdown over immigration, with the leader of the House bluntly warning the president against taking sweeping action without congressional approval.
“When you play with matches you take the risk of burning yourself,” House Speaker John Boehner said at his first news conference after elections in which Republicans captured control of the Senate that takes over in January and emerged with their largest majority in the House in at least 70 years.
“And he’s going to burn himself if he continues to go down this path,” Boehner said.
A day after Tuesday’s election, Obama defian-tly stood by his pledge to act on his own to reduce deportations, grant work permits and improve border security by the end of the year. The president cast his executive actions as an inducement for Republicans to pass their own bill to overhaul the country’s broken immigration system.
The Senate’s likely majority leader next year, Mitch McConnell, has said such a move would only complicate efforts to pass a bill.
Boehner made his comments one day before he and the other congressional leaders head to the White House for a lunch meeting with Obama. Even before the new Congress convenes, the outgoing one is scheduled to meet next week to wrap up business left over from the past two years.