Obama: 'I'm Going To Do What I Can Through Executive Action' On Immigration

11/09/2014 11:32 am ET | Updated Nov 10, 2014

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama said on Sunday that he will pursue an executive order on immigration reform and that congressional Republicans can take further action if they so please.

"I'm going to do what I can do through executive action," Obama said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "It's not going to be everything that needs to get done. And it will take time to put that in place."

"And in the interim, the minute they pass a bill that addresses the problems of immigration reform, I will sign it and it supersedes whatever actions I take," the president continued. "I'm encouraging them."

Obama laid blame for his forthcoming executive order at the feet of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for failing to allow a vote on the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed with a bipartisan majority in the Senate.

"I preside over a process in which the Senate produced a bipartisan bill. I then said to John Boehner, 'John, let's get this passed through the House,'" Obama told "Face the Nation" host Bob Scheiffer. "For a year, I stood back and let him work on this. He decided not to call the Senate bill and he couldn't produce his own bill. And I told him at the time, 'John, if you don't do it, I've got legal authority to make improvements on the system. I prefer to see it done through Congress, but every day that I wait we're misallocating resources, we're deporting people that don't need to be deported.'"

The president said he then laid out his final deadline for House Republicans. "If you can't get it done before the end of the year, I'm going to have to take the steps that I can to improve the system," he said he told Boehner.

Boehner has announced "there will be no chance for immigration reform" if the president pursues executive action.

"When you play with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself. And he's going to burn himself if he continues to go down this path," Boehner said on Thursday.

Watch a clip of Obama's interview on "Face The Nation" above.

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