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August 1, 2014

Posts in "John Boehner"

July 2, 2014

Congressman: We Can’t Just Kick Them Off a Bus in Guatemala

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Farenthold, R-Texas, wants Congress to respond to the surge of unaccompanied minors at the U.S.-Mexico border (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama deserves blame for much of the misery in overcrowded illegal immigrant facilities on the Southwest border, a conservative Texas congressman told CQ Roll Call Wednesday.

But “instant deportation,” Republican Blake Farenthold said, is no answer to the crisis.

The second-term congressman is part of a group of lawmakers taking a firsthand look this week at Texas facilities that have been stretched to the breaking point in recent weeks as thousands of Central American children and mothers have streamed across the border seeking asylum.

The sudden surge of young immigrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador is a direct result of the president’s rhetoric on immigration, Farenthold said.

“He telegraphed a message that if you’re a kid, you’re gonna get to stay,” Farenthold explained.

But the Corpus Christi lawmaker, who before 2012 redistricting represented the area now at the center of national scrutiny, is also frustrated with many of his constituents — and even with some of his colleagues — who call for instant deportation of “alien” children.

“We can’t just take them to the town square in Guatemala and kick them off the bus,” Farenthold said. “I also make the point that, if I were to send my child on a journey this perilous, child protective services would be knocking on my door trying to take away custody of my children.

“Here’s the thing with border security,” he continued. “Let’s assume it’s 100 percent secure, we catch anybody who crosses the border within a mile of the border, alright? Even if we capture a child, we still have to do something with that child.”

The “national security” and “humanitarian crisis” elements of the child migrant border surge are different, according to Farenthold — a distinction that needs to be clear for both Republicans and Democrats as Congress reconvenes next week with just 16 legislative work days scheduled before the August recess.

Full story

July 1, 2014

Fundraising: Boehner Says GOP Needs More From Chairmen

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Boehner wants House committee chairmen to ramp up fundraising. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio has said he intends to hang on to the reins, and now he is cracking the whip.

Boehner is exerting pressure on top committee chairman to raise more money for the National Republican Congressional Committee as the party tries to win a dozen or more seats in November’s elections.

Boehner has told members affiliated with the NRCC to urge committee and subcommittee chairman to chip in, and he is leading by example. Last week, at a closed-door House Republican meeting at NRCC headquarters, Boehner announced a donation of $1.5 million to the House GOP’s campaign wing with a matching donation from Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. They were joined by Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas and Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, who each handed over checks of $1 million to the NRCC. Full story

Earmarks Aren’t Coming Back, Boehner Vows in New Video

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Boehner reiterates his opposition to earmarks in new video. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner’s office is out with a new video slamming Senate Democrats and pledging that as long as the Ohio Republican is speaker, “there will be no earmarks.”

In the video, which uses a score befitting an NFL Films promo, Boehner says the American people have entrusted House Republicans to do things differently.

“So when it comes to earmarks, we’ve kept our promise,” he says in footage ripped from his weekly news conference on May 22. Full story

June 30, 2014

Diaz-Balart: ‘Boehner’s Never Told Me’ Immigration Overhaul Is ‘Dead’

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Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., will still seek a vote on immigration this year (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Did Speaker John A. Boehner really tell President Barack Obama that the House wouldn’t vote on an immigration overhaul bill this year?

Florida Republican Mario Diaz-Balart intimated on Monday afternoon that he doubts Boehner would have, with such finality, closed the door to moving forward on such legislation, as Obama suggested in a national address.

“Boehner’s never told me that it’s dead,” Diaz-Balart said in a phone interview with CQ Roll Call. “What Boehner’s been telling me is what he’s always been telling me, that clearly the American people don’t trust Obama to enforce the law.” Full story

June 27, 2014

Members of Congress Heading for Border to Witness Child Migrant Crisis

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Goodlatte is taking a bipartisan delegation to the border next week to witness the child migrant crisis. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The surge of unaccompanied immigrant children illegally crossing the southern border is drawing House lawmakers to the region for fact-finding visits during the July Fourth recess week.

Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., a former immigration lawyer whose panel just convened a hearing on the issue, will lead a bipartisan group on a trip to the Rio Grande Valley sector of the U.S.-Mexico border next week.

“Word has spread around the world about the Obama Administration’s lax immigration enforcement and administration legalization programs and it has encouraged thousands of children, teenagers, and families from Central America to come to the United States illegally and take advantage of this situation,” Goodlatte said in a statement announcing his upcoming visit. “Law enforcement officials who testified at the House Judiciary Committee earlier this week state that this surge shows no signs of stopping.” Full story

June 26, 2014

Pelosi Asks Boehner for Bipartisan Response to Border Crisis

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Border crisis: Pelosi says Republicans need to include Democrats in discussions on how to address the surge of illegal immigrant children along the Southwest border. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says Republicans need to consult with Democrats in their formal examination of the surge of immigrant children attempting to cross the Southwest border.

In a letter sent Thursday afternoon, the California Democrat implored Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, not to shut Democrats out of the process of looking critically at the issues and making informed policy recommendations to the Congress.

Her pleas for cross-party collaboration come two days after Boehner announced he would convene an all-Republican “working group” on what members on both sides of the aisle have characterized as a “national security and humanitarian crisis” — a crisis the GOP increasingly is blaming on President Barack Obama.

Full story

Luis Gutiérrez: House GOP Role in Immigration Overhaul Is ‘Over’ (Video)

Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., slammed Republicans on the floor Wednesday, renewing calls for the House of Representatives to take action to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws nearly one year after the Senate passed bipartisan immigration legislation.

“Republicans have failed America, and failed themselves,” he said.

Gutiérrez’s comments came after Speaker John A. Boehner’s announcement Tuesday of a GOP task force to address the crisis of illegal immigrant children surging across the southern border.

“I gave you the warning three months ago, and now I have no other choice; you’re done,” Gutiérrez said, addressing House Republicans. “Your chance to play a role in how immigration and deportation policies are carried out this year is over.”

Full story

Boehner: ‘We’ll See’ If Export-Import Bank Authorized Before Deadline (Video)

Speaker John A. Boehner again declined to commit to a reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank at his weekly news conference Wednesday, telling reporters “we’ll see” when asked if the House would “sort through” the issue prior to the Sept. 30 deadline to reauthorize the Bank’s lending authority.

“There’s a big debate going on in our conference, and we’re just going to have to sort our way through this. My job is to help facilitate the sorting through of this so that we can get to an outcome.”

Full story

June 25, 2014

Boehner’s Memo to Members on Obama Lawsuit (Complete Text)

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Boehner made the case for a lawsuit to rein in Obama executive actions in a Wednesday letter to members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Here’s the complete text of the letter Speaker John A. Boehner sent Wednesday to House members, regarding his decision to initiate a lawsuit on behalf of the House against President Barack Obama over the administration’s use of executive actions.

 

Full story

Boehner Confirms He’ll Sue Obama Over Executive Actions (Video) (Updated)

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Boehner says the House will file a lawsuit to rein in Obama executive actions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated, 2:57 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio confirmed Wednesday that he will initiate a lawsuit on behalf of the House against President Barack Obama over the administration’s use of executive actions.

Boehner, saying he believes the president is ignoring laws passed by Congress, cast the move toward a lawsuit, which was first reported by Roll Call, as a continuation of the age-old struggle over the balance of powers among the three branches of government.

“This is about defending the institution in which we serve,” Boehner told reporters. “What we’ve seen clearly over the last five years is an effort to erode the power of the legislative branch. I believe the president is not faithfully executing the laws of our country, and behalf of the institution and our constitution, standing up and fighting for this is in the best long-term interest of the Congress.”

Full story

June 24, 2014

‘Cruz Caucus’ Talks Leadership Elections in Both Chambers

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Cruz met again Tuesday with House conservatives. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz held another closed-door meeting with House conservatives Tuesday night, sitting down with insurgents over pizza in his office for a free-flowing discussion about immigration, leadership elections, the IRS and recent changes at the Republican Study Committee.

Over the course of about an hour and a half, 14 of the most conservative members of the House piled into Cruz’s Dirksen office for what was described in an email as an off-the-record gathering of “discussion and fellowship.”

The attendees were, in the order in which they arrived: Doug Lamborn of Colorado, Trent Franks of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, John Fleming of Louisiana, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Matt Salmon of Arizona, Steve Stockman of Texas, Paul Broun of Georgia, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, Ted Yoho of Florida, Steve Pearce of New Mexico and Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. (Lamborn was facing a primary back home.)

This isn’t the first time Cruz has met quietly with House conservatives. He met in the basement of Tortilla Coast with 15 to 20 House Republicans during the government shutdown in October. He also met with a similar group of House Republicans in his office in April.

The topics of conversation at these meetings have been the subject of vivid speculation.

But Tuesday night, Cruz looked to downplay the whole affair as he entered the meeting at 7:09 p.m.

“You guys have made a mountain out of a molehill,” the Texas Republican told CQ Roll Call. He noted that he had met with conservatives “periodically,” and he implied such gatherings aren’t a big deal. Full story

Boehner Planning House Lawsuit Against Obama Executive Actions

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, told Republicans Tuesday he could have an announcement within days on whether the House will file a lawsuit against President Barack Obama, challenging the executive actions that have become the keystone of the administration.

The lawsuit could set up a significant test of constitutional checks and balances, with the legislative branch suing the executive branch for ignoring its mandates, and the judiciary branch deciding the outcome.

Boehner told the House Republican Conference during a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning that he has been consulting with legal scholars and plans to unveil his next steps this week or next, according to sources in the room.

(Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.)

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said further action is necessary because the Senate has not taken up bills passed by the House targeting executive actions. The House has passed a bill expediting court consideration of House resolutions starting lawsuits targeting executive overreach and another mandating that the attorney general notify Congress when the administration decides to take executive action outside of what has been authorized by Congress.

“The president has a clear record of ignoring the American people’s elected representatives and exceeding his constitutional authority, which has dangerous implications for both our system of government and our economy,” Steel said. “The House has passed legislation to address this, but it has gone nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate, so we are examining other options.” Full story

Boehner Convenes GOP Task Force on Border Crisis

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Boehner’s new border crisis panel includes a cross-section of Republicans. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans are blaming President Barack Obama for the growing number of unaccompanied, undocumented immigrant children seeking illegal passage into the United States over the southern border, and on Tuesday they unveiled a plan that might exert additional pressure on the administration.

Speaker John A. Boehner, who just sent a letter to Obama on the subject at the end of last week, announced that he had convened a “working group” to probe “the national security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border.” Full story

Boehner Defers to Hensarling on Export-Import Bank (Updated)

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On the Export-Import Bank reauthorization, Boehner is looking to Hensarling. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:36 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio declined to commit to reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, saying instead Tuesday morning that he is trying find common ground between his members who want to end the bank and those who want to continue funding it.

Boehner said he is looking to tomorrow’s Financial Services Committee hearing on the subject, and will rely on Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas, who has said he wants to let the program expire to lay out the way ahead. Boehner’s comments come amid revelations that some Ex-Im Bank employees were fired for allegedly accepting bribes.

“I’m looking forward to the chairman outlining how we’re going to deal with this rather controversial subject, especially in light of some of the employees who were let go, who are accused of kickbacks and other schemes to pad their own pockets,” Boehner said. Full story

June 23, 2014

Trey Gowdy’s ‘Boehner Goes to Heaven’ Joke

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Gowdy’s joke cracked up a Maryland audience. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Currently catching fire on the Internet: a YouTube video of Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., cracking up an audience of Maryland Republicans last week with a joke about Speaker John A. Boehner, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Maryland Rep. Andy Harris dying and going to heaven.

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