Rep. Ryan Cautions Obama Not To Issue Immigration Executive Order

Steve Inskeep talks to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan about the prospects for an immigration bill. On Friday, Morning Edition will talk to Ryan about his ideas for fighting poverty.

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OK, we've just heard about a Republican Congressman and Senate candidate who has softened his stand on illegal immigration. Other Republicans are bracing for confrontation.


There's widespread speculation that President Obama may bypass Congress on immigration. Administration officials have spoken of executive action to address portions of immigration reform.

INSKEEP: President Obama has raised that possibility after the House failed to act on a variety of immigration proposals. One leading Republican, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, says he supports immigration reform. But in an interview with NPR he warned the president against acting alone.


INSKEEP: Should the House simply vote on the Senate immigration plan, which includes a path to citizenship for people who are here illegally?

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: No, it shouldn't. We in the House majority do not support that bill. People like myself have articulated different plans. The problem we have right now is it's just a huge amount of distrust of the executive branch and their willingness to actually enforce the laws as written by Congress. I really worry that if the president does some kind of sweeping executive order, which we would widely interpret as exceeding his powers of the presidency, going into the powers of the legislative branch, that he would poison the well for us to try and bring - come together at a future date to do immigration reform.

INSKEEP: That's Congressman and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who's considering running for president in 2016, has sent a letter to President Obama also warning the president against acting alone, even though Rubio himself had spoken of immigration reform. Now, you can hear more of our conversation with Congressman Ryan. He'll talk about immigration and also poverty tomorrow on MORNING EDITION.

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