House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) blasted President Obama’s demand that Congress pass a $3.7 billion supplemental before he’ll consider border-security measures such as Gov. Rick Perry’s request that the National Guard be deployed to help out.
“Along our southern border, we have a true humanitarian crisis under way with children caught in the middle. Unfortunately, it’s a crisis of the president’s own making. His actions gave false hope to children and their families that if they entered the country illegally, they would be allowed to stay. Our priorities are clear, take care of these children, return them safely home to their home countries, to their families, and secure the border,” Boehner told reporters at a news conference Thursday.
Obama laid the blame at lawmakers’ feet on Wednesday in Dallas, saying “Congress has the capacity to work with all parties concerned to directly address the situation. They’ve said they want to see a solution. The supplemental offers them the capacity to vote immediately to get it done.”
Boehner said House Republicans are reviewing the president’s request, but vowed to “not give the president a blank check.”
“I sent a letter to the president last month laying out specific actions he should take to address the crisis, including sending in the National Guard. The National Guard is uniquely qualified to address these types of humanitarian crises. And utilizing their expertise would free up border agents to focus on their job of securing the border. Now the president said yesterday he would consider doing that, only if he gets more money with no strings attached. In other words, he won’t do it for the kids. It’s all about politics. The president assured the American people the border was secure but clearly it is not,” Boehner said.
The Speaker said the House “should act this month” on some sort of legislation to address the influx of illegal immigrants, which could include fixing the law that allows amnesty proceedings for immigrants who come illegally from countries other than Mexico or Canada.
“What that action would be is yet to be determined. We’ve got the chairman of the Appropriations Committee doing his due diligence and the members of the working group looking at options and those discussions are going to continue,” Boehner said.
“We’ll let the working group work out the details. But I think we all agree that the noncontiguous countries that now we’re required to hold those people, I think clearly we would probably have language similar with what we have with Mexico.”
When pressed on whether Republicans would agree to give Obama his requested funding, Boehner snapped, “Listen, this is a problem of the president’s own making. He’s been president for five and a half years! When’s he going to take responsibility for something?”