House Speaker John Boehner will file a lawsuit against the Obama administration for its use of executive actions to change laws, he formally announced Wednesday.
"I believe the President is not faithfully executing the laws of our country, and on behalf of the institution and our constitution standing up and fighting for this is in the best long term interest of the Congress," he said.
Boehner would not say which executive action the lawsuit would target specifically.
The specifics and mechanics of the suit have yet to be worked out, but Boehner could enlist an organization called the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) to carry it out.
Because that body is controlled by the Speaker, the Majority Leader, the Majority Whip, the Minority Leader and the Minority Whip, Republicans could order the lawsuit to go ahead even if Democrats objected.
The speaker insisted Wednesday that the lawsuit does not amount to an effort to impeach the president.
"This is not about impeachment, this is about his faithfully executing the laws of our country," Boehner said.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he is confident the president has operated well within the confines of the law and that Republicans have brought the suit simply because they disagree with Obama's policies.
The GOP's unwillingness to compromise has forced the president to take more executive actions, Earnest said.
"The fact that they are considering a taxpayer-funded lawsuit against the president of the United States for doing his job, I think, is the kind of step that most Americans wouldn't support," Earnest said.
"This lawsuit is not going to consume the attention of the White House," he added.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Wednesday called the lawsuit "subterfuge."
"They're doing nothing here and so they have to give some aura of activity," she said.
-- NBC's Andrew Rafferty and Carrie Dann contributed to this report.