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Posted at 12:39 p.m. on July 24, 2014
With time running out before the August recess, Speaker John A. Boehner still wants deals for a border supplemental and to address the VA health care crisis, but put the onus on the Democrats and the White House to move in the GOP’s direction.
Boehner said Republicans were still talking with their colleagues about a supplemental spending package to address the flood of children crossing the border, and he said those conversations would continue in the days leading up to the August recess.
“But understand: It’s time for the White House to get their act together,” the Ohio Republican said. “They want to change the ’08 law and address the underlying problem here, or don’t they?”
Boehner has made no secret that he wants changes to a 2008 law on human trafficking so that the children crossing the border from Central America could be deported more quickly.
The White House has repeatedly said it want more discretion for the Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to speed up deportations, but many Democrats have balked at any legislative changes that would affect the 2008 law.
On the VA, the House and the Senate have been discussing additional funding to hire more doctors to provide veterans with quicker access to health care. Both chambers passed expansive VA bills, but Boehner blamed a late administration funding request to beef up VA health care for tripping up the talks.
“Well I thought we were making great progress, and frankly, I’m still hopeful that we can get this resolved,” Boehner said Thursday. “But the White House rolls in with a request … not very clearly outlined, no hearings, no nothing, and expects us to just add it to this conference report. We’re not going to do that.”
Boehner also made passing mention that he expects the House to vote on a continuing resolution in September to fund the government through early December. There was some speculation earlier this week that the House might try to pass a CR before lawmakers hit the exits for the August recess, but Boehner shot down that theory.
Steven T. Dennis contributed to this report.