Speaker John Boehner called President Obama AWOL on the border, but when asked to visit the border to see it for himself, Boehner said no.
On July 24, Speaker Boehner said, “It’s time for the White House to get their act together. This is a problem of the president’s own making. And then he tries to — says he wants to solve the problem, so we that we can stop this influx, but then he changes his mind. We’ve got a president that’s AWOL. And the president ought to get engaged in this if he actually wants something to happen.”
Freshman Democratic Rep. Pete Gallego (TX) invited Boehner to see the border crisis for himself:
Because you, as the first among equals in the people’s House, have more influence than most in the legislative process, I invite you to come to the Texas-Mexico border to join me in speaking to community leaders and the dedicated law enforcement working to protect our borders every day. This will give you an in-person view as well as firsthand, non-partisan and unvarnished representations of what is occurring on the border.
If the argument in the House is that the President cannot or should not take executive action, then someone else has to. It would seem logical that that “someone” should be the leader of the chamber closest to the people.
Boehner’s office responded to the offer, “The Speaker has heard from many, including our Border Working Group led by Texas Rep. Kay Granger, about the humanitarian crisis on our southern border. That’s why the House acted last week on legislation to provide needed relief and begin to fix the problems. At this point, President Obama should call Senate Democrats back to Washington to act, too.”
In other words, Boehner said no. The idea that Boehner is somehow more informed than the president is laughable. It is the height of hypocrisy for Boehner to criticize the president for being AWOL on the border crisis when he refuses to interrupt his five-week vacation to take a trip to the border and see things for himself. Rep. Boehner (R-OH) doesn’t want to go to the border because he would have to see for himself that the legislation his House passed last week is completely inadequate.
Speaker Boehner doesn’t care. The House passed a couple of crackpot bills that will never become law before they skipped out of town. All Boehner cares about is that it looks like the House did something. It doesn’t matter that what the House did is destined to go nowhere. The speaker is only concerned with creating the illusion that House Republicans are addressing nation’s problems.
The nation owes Rep. Gallego a big thank you for exposing the depth and degree of John Boehner’s border crisis hypocrisy. Once again, there has been no serious action behind Speaker Boehner’s tough talk.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association