Obama was asked in an interview broadcast on Sunday about House
Speaker John Boehner's assertion that he was acting like an emperor
in using executive powers to tackle the issue of the 11 million
immigrants living in America without documents.
"Well, my response is pass a bill," Obama said in the interview with
ABC's "This Week" taped on Friday. "Congress has a responsibility to
deal with these issues and there are some things that I canít do on
Obama announced on Thursday he was easing the threat of deportation
for millions of undocumented immigrants. His measures include
allowing some 4.4 million people who are parents of U.S. citizens
and legal permanent residents and who have been in the country for
five years to remain in the country temporarily, with the right to
Obama, who has long said he preferred legislation to unilateral
action, cited a bipartisan immigration bill passed by the U.S.
Senate last year and urged the House to take it up.
Boehner has not given any indication he will act on immigration this
year, and Republicans have been divided on how to respond to the
Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said on "Fox News Sunday" his
party should use spending bills to withhold funds to implement the
order. That could force Obama to veto vital funding bills, sparking
a government shutdown similar to the one last year.
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Cruz, who led that shutdown fight in an effort to block funds for
the Obamacare health plan, said the big Republican gains in the
midterm elections showed the shutdown was not a political blunder.
Republicans will control the Senate and have a bigger House majority
in the new Congress that begins in January.
"It was not a mistake for Republicans to stand up and fight
Obamacare," he said. "Republicans need to actually do what we say
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez said Obama's actions did not make
the need for immigration reform any less pressing and said the House
should pass the Senate bill.
"They still have time to pass that bill," he told NBC's "Meet the
Press" program. "There's still clearly a persistent, urgent need to
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and John Whitesides; Editing by Frances
Kerry and Stephen Powell)
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