NPR logo Boehner: 'We Will Not Stand Idly By As President Undermines The Rule Of Law'

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Boehner: 'We Will Not Stand Idly By As President Undermines The Rule Of Law'

Speaker of the House John Boehner talks with reporters in his office in the U.S. Capitol on Friday. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Speaker of the House John Boehner talks with reporters in his office in the U.S. Capitol on Friday.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"We will not stand idly by as the president undermines the rule of law and places lives at risk."

That's what House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, had to say this morning about President Obama's unilateral action on immigration.

In a news conference at the Capitol, Boehner used harsh language to describe the executive actions intended to defer the deportation of, according to the White House, up to 5 million immigrants.

With his actions, Boehner said, Obama "deliberately sabotaged" any chance of comprehensive immigration legislation, and by acting "like a king" he is also "damaging the presidency."

"We have a broken immigration system, and the American people expect us to work together to fix it, and we ought to do that through the democratic process," Boehner said.

As we've reported, this has been a long-running tug-of-war in Washington. For nearly six years, Obama and congressional Republicans have tried to hammer out an immigration overhaul.

The president warned that if Congress didn't act, he would take on the issue using executive actions. And congressional Republicans warned him that action could lead to serious repercussions.

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On Thursday, Obama threw down the gantlet, announcing a series of steps providing broad deportation relief for those who came into the United States illegally as children and the undocumented parents of children in the United States legally.

Boehner said he was talking with his caucus to come up with an appropriate response. (There have been whispers of everything from a shutdown to defunding some of the president's initiatives.)

Boehner would not get into specifics, but he left something very clear: "The House will in fact act."