House Speaker John Boehner says it’s the Senate — not his leadership — that is to blame for Congress being gridlocked in partisan intransigence and poised to leave Washington for a five-week break without passing several key measures.
“I’m not going to accept responsibility for the fact that the United States Senate can’t act,” the Ohio Republican told reporters Thursday.
Boehner blasted the Democratic-controlled upper chamber for ignoring more than 350 House-passed bills — some 40 of which he said are designed to stimulate job growth and the economy.
“Almost all of those bills have passed the House on a bipartisan basis. Go take your complaint to [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid,” the speaker said.
Boehner was particularly critical of the Senate Democrats’ measure to deal with the flood of unaccompanied minors at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the lawmakers are trying to jam through a “nutso scheme” they know has no chance of passing the full Congress.
“I’ll say it one more time: The House will not take up the Senate immigration reform bill or accept it back from the Senate in any fashion,” he said.
The speaker also accused President Obama of failing to take an active role in helping solve the border crisis, aside from asking for $3.7 billion in emergency spending, an amount even some Democrats said was too much.
“Where’s the president’s proposal?” he said. “The president says, 'Give me $3.7 billion, ah but don’t do anything to address the real problem on the border. Just throw more money at it.' I think that’s totally irresponsible.”
Boehner warned the president not to take executive action to address the problem. If he does, the speaker said the president will solidify “his legacy of lawlessness.”
“He’ll be violating the solemn oath he made to the American people on the day of his inauguration. And he’ll be sacrificing the integrity of our laws on the altar of political opportunism,” he said. “And I can guarantee you, the American people will hold him accountable.”