News Column

Boehner Says No to Palin's Call for Impeachment

July 9, 2014

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House Speaker John Boehner (file photo)
House Speaker John Boehner (file photo)

House Speaker John Boehner squashed new rumblings from some corners of his party to impeach President Obama over his executive actions, including his immigration policies.

Answering a question from reporters to respond to a statement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Ohio Republican simply said, "I disagree."

Boehner has moved forward with plans to introduce legislation in the House to sue Obama over what he says is an abuse of his executive power under the Constitution, but said his goal was to get the president to enforce laws as passed by Congress, not remove him from office.

"This is not about impeachment, this is about faithfully executing the laws of this country," he said.

But some Republicans have called for more, calling the president's use of executive orders an impeachable offense.

"Enough is enough of the years of abuse from this president," Palin wrote in an op-ed for Breitbart. "His unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, 'no mas.'"

"It's time to impeach; and on behalf of American workers and legal immigrants of all backgrounds, we should vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment," she said.

And video surfaced this week of Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst at a forum in January, calling for "repercussions" for using executive orders.

"He is continually using executive order, he is making appointments without authority," she said. "So yes, absolutely he is overstepping his bounds. And I do think that, yes, he should face those repercussions. Now, whether that's removal from office, whether that's impeachment..."

In a statement Tuesday, Ernst clarified her comments.

"Obviously if the Supreme Court were to ever rule that the president of the United States had abused their power, that would be a very serious charge," she said.

"To be clear, I have not seen any evidence that the president should be impeached," she said. "I obviously do not believe the president is a dictator, but his repeated use of unilateral action sure makes him look like one."

Obama has in fact used executive orders less frequently than all modern presidents. In more than five years in office, Obama has used the power of the pen 168 times, meaning if he keeps his pace, he will have signed 269 executive orders while in office.

Every two-term president going back to Franklin Roosevelt used them more, with George W. Bush coming closest in frequency with 291 in eight years. Even Presidents John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, who all served less than a full two terms, signed more executive orders than Obama is on pace to sign in two.

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Original headline: Boehner does not support impeaching President Obama


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