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Speaker Boehner announces lawsuit against Obama's alleged 'abuse of power'

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) speaks following a meeting of the House Republican conference June 18, 2014 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) speaks following a meeting of the House Republican conference June 18, 2014 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Speaker John Boehner announced Wednesday that he will file suit against President Barack Obama over alleged abuse of executive power. Speaker Boehner alleged that the president ignores the law and “brags about it.”

Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans have been weighing this option for some time over concerns that Obama exceeded his constitutional authority with executive actions. Republicans have voiced frustration with Obama's second-term "pen and phone" strategy of pursuing policy changes without Congress.

"This is not about impeachment it's about him faithfully executing the laws of this country," Boehner said.

Boehner said he plans to bring legislation authorizing the suit to the floor in July, citing concerns that Obama's executive actions could shift the "balance of power decisively and dangerously" in favor of the White House – giving the president "king-like authority." He cited concerns over policies on health care, energy, foreign policy and education.

"On one matter after another during his presidency, President Obama has circumvented the Congress through executive action, creating his own laws and excusing himself from executing statutes he is sworn to enforce – at times even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the American people to stop him," said Boehner in a memo released to House Republicans.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, asked about the suit at Wednesday's briefing, defended the president's executive authority – while blasting Republican leadership for what he called a "taxpayer-funded lawsuit against the president of the United States for doing his job."

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asserted that House Republicans are floating a lawsuit against President Barack Obama only to distract from the GOP’s "do-nothing agenda."

“They are doing nothing here so they have to give some aura of activity,” the California Democrat said.

President Obama set his agenda for this year as a "year of action" - promising to act on issues where Congress does not act. President Barack Obama has issued 180 executive orders since he was sworn in January 2009. For contrast, President Bill Clinton issued 364 executive orders and President George W. Bush issued 291.

John Boehner
John Boehner Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

John Boehner

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: U.S. golfers Zach Johnson (L) and Tiger Woods (R) attend a ceremony with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) to celebrate the 2013 Presidents Cup American and International golf teams in the East Room of the White House June 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. The United States won for the fifth successive time with an 18 1/2-15 1/2 victory over the International team at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, OH

John Boehner
John Boehner Alex Wong/Getty Images

John Boehner

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: U.S. golfers Zach Johnson (L) and Tiger Woods (R) attend a ceremony with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) to celebrate the 2013 Presidents Cup American and International golf teams in the East Room of the White House June 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. The United States won for the fifth successive time with an 18 1/2-15 1/2 victory over the International team at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, OH

John Boehner
John Boehner Alex Wong/Getty Images

John Boehner

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: U.S. golfers Zach Johnson (L) and Tiger Woods (R) attend a ceremony with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) to celebrate the 2013 Presidents Cup American and International golf teams in the East Room of the White House June 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. The United States won for the fifth successive time with an 18 1/2-15 1/2 victory over the International team at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, OH