News Column

Obama on Impeachment: 'For What?'

July 11, 2014

David Jackson, USA TODAY

President Obama used the "i word" Thursday: impeachment.

Obama voiced it to mock Republicans who have called for his impeachment, and for a lawsuit against what some GOP members describe as abuses of executive authority.

"You hear some of them ... 'Sue him! Impeach him!'" Obama told backers in Austin imitating his critics. "Really? Really? For what? You're going to sue me for doing my job?"

Wrapping up three-day trip to Colorado and Texas, Obama spoke hours after his staff released a report detailing some of the executive actions he has taken in reaction to what he called congressional inaction on the economy. Some of these orders would presumably be part of the Republican lawsuit.

He also spoke the same week that former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin became the most prominent Republican to call for Obama's impeachment, in part because of the spike in illegal border crossings by migrants from Central America.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said he doesn't support impeachment and is instead focused on a lawsuit he said is designed to protect the rights of the legislative branch against incursion by Obama.

"What we're talking about here are places where the president is basically rewriting law to make it fit his own needs," Boehner said.

Obama told supporters in Austin that his executive actions have included efforts to lower student loan interest rates and hike the minimum wage for federal contract workers. He noted that his rate of executive actions is lower than those of previous presidents.

"Republicans didn't seem to mind when President Bush took more executive actions than I did," Obama said. "Maybe it's just me they don't like. I don't know."

During this week's presidential trip, Republicans -- and some Democrats -- criticized Obama for not visiting Texas' southern border to see the problems with the influx of Central American migrants, including thousands of unaccompanied children.

Obama, who did not mention the border crisis in his Austin speech, said earlier this week that he is already familiar with the problems and that a visit would be nothing more than a photo op.

After a Wednesday meeting with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Obama called on Republicans to back his new $3.7 billion budget plan to deal with border issues.


Original headline: Obama taunts GOP for lawsuit threats

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Source: Copyright 2014 USA TODAY

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