Boehner acknowledges “stumbles” in 2015

Boehner acknowledges “stumbles” in 2015 

Posted: 12:25 pm Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

By Jamie Dupree

A day after Republicans took a border security bill off of the House schedule this week because of internal opposition, Speaker John Boehner acknowledged to reporters that it has not been smooth sailing so far in 2015 for House GOP leaders.

“Yeah, there have been a couple of stumbles,” Boehner told reporters at a U.S. Capitol news conference, though he argued it’s part of “the effort to show the American people that we’re here to listen to their priorities.

For Boehner, it was yet another week where GOP infighting was on display – last week, a revolt by moderates and Republican women sunk a bill on late term abortion – this time the GOP gave up on a limited border security bill as some conservatives demanded a broader approach against illegal immigration.

“I would love to see us do something constructive,” said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), one GOP member demanding a broader bill; Brooks labeled the border security plan that had been set for a vote this week a “mirage.”

But other GOP lawmakers noted that last year, many Republicans had told Boehner not to move a broad bill on illegal immigration, and instead act on smaller pieces of immigration bills.

“Frankly there was some criticism last week – however well-intentioned – that was simply misinformed,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), who joined other Republicans in being somewhat puzzled about the GOP opposition to the border security bill.

“We as Republicans said from the start that we were going to do border security first,” said Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA).

“That’s what I had hoped that we would take up first,” Scott said, as he emerged from a closed-door GOP meeting that focused on the immigration issue.

“When we’re ready to move, we will,” Boehner told reporters.

In that meeting, Speaker Boehner also outlined to fellow Republicans plans for a possible lawsuit against President Obama over his executive actions on immigration.

One option is to have the House GOP join in a lawsuit launched by a group of states against the President’s plans, which would temporarily end the threat of deportation for some 4-5 million people in the U.S. illegally.


McCaul has called his bill the “strongest” border security measure ever introduced in the history of the United States Congress, but the revelation that he thinks—according to his committee staff—that building a double-layer fence along the full border is too expensive undercuts that notion. In addition, committee materials that were distributed to House Republicans in an effort to win their support for the bill contain provably false information—specifically a claim that there are already 652 miles of double-layer fencing, of the 700 miles required by law, built on the U.S. border with Mexico.

There are still hundreds of miles of that 700 miles of double layer fencing required by current law that haven’t been built reports Breitbart’s Matt Boyle.

But in talking points the Homeland Security Committee has been distributing secretly to House Republican offices—with the help of the Republican leadership—they claim that the 48 miles of double-layer fencing the amended McCaul bill has would meet the full 700-mile requirement of the Secure Fence Act.

“As amended, the bill requires the 48 miles of double-layer fence to complete the 700 miles of fencing required under current law,” the McCaul talking points document distributed to unsuspecting House Republican offices, reviewed by Breitbart News, reads.

In the document, McCaul’s committee actually counts vehicle barriers that fully allow illegal aliens to walk right through from Mexico into the United States as if they were part of hundreds of miles of the double-layer fencing. It also counts weaker single-layer fencing—called “pedestrian fence” in the talking points document—as double-layer fencing, which just isn’t accurate.

“[W]e only have 652 miles of the 700 miles of fence required by current law,” McCaul’s committee staff wrote in the talking points. “Of that, 353.8 miles is pedestrian fence and the remainder, 299.8 miles, is made up of vehicle barriers. The Secure Our Borders First Act completes the 700 miles of fencing.”

Jessica Vaughan, a Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) immigration expert and former U.S. State Department official, wrote in an analysis that the McCaul bill as amended would leave more than 600 miles of the required double-layer fencing undone.

NumbersUSA director of government relations Rosemary Jenks, in a phone interview before the bill’s mark-up last Wednesday, told Breitbart News that she’s shocked McCaul wouldn’t aim to complete the double-layer fencing as required by current law.

I was stunned when I saw they were only requiring 27 miles of double layer fencing. The original bill had just 27 miles of fencing. As amended, the new bill—which is headed to the House Rules Committee soon, and to the House floor as soon as House GOP leadership can rush it up for a vote shortly thereafter—has just 48 miles of double-layer fencing. The Secure Fence Act requires 700 miles of double layer fencing. Why they don’t just require the administration to implement that law is beyond me.

While some early analysts have focused on the lack of real security improvements at the border itself, Tea Party Patriots is calling on House Republicans to amend the McCaul bill so it includes interior enforcement, something McCaul’s team has originally resisted claiming they don’t have the jurisdiction to do so.

“For whatever reason, the Homeland Security Committee was in a hurry,” Tea Party Patriots spokesman Kevin Broughton told Breitbart News.

Now, our focus will be amending this legislation which is sorely lacking any meaningful teeth. The House — with a smaller GOP Conference than it has now — passed the Carter-Aderholt “border surge” bill last summer. If the GOP is truly committed to regular order and a transparent process, then amending HR 399 with provisions from Carter-Aderholt shouldn’t be a problem. Republicans who ran on stopping amnesty and securing the border now have their chance. The grassroots will shortly be in contact, demanding an end to catch-and-release; an expedited removal process; closure of asylum loopholes; and a real, 700-mile double fence, not the 27 miles the McCaul bill provides.

The contortions McCaul’s staff then went through to justify not including interior enforcement are on par with those Obama’s spokesmen go through to justify not saying “radical Islam” when referring to the war radical Islamists have declared on us, but the bottom line is they finally had to admit to Bretbart’s Matt Boyle that they could indeed include interior enforcement because the final bill is going to be written in the Rules Committee, Chaired by Speaker Boehner’s do-boy Texas Republican Pete Sessions.

NumbersUSA has come out strongly against the McCaul bill, calling for an amendment to the bill that would block the funding for Obama’s executive amnesty—language that has already passed the House of Representatives.

“NumbersUSA firmly believes that the first order of immigration business this Congress is to defund the executive amnesty. So everything they do on immigration should include the defund language they passed on the DHS appropriations bill,” NumbersUSA director of government relations Rosemary Jenks said in a phone interview with Matt Boyle. “It’s anything on immigration”. Their first job is not done until they have defunded the executive amnesty.”

We agree.  Call your Representative and Senators (the Capitol Switchboard is 1-866-220-0044) and tell them you are on to the fact that the McCaul bill is another phony show vote that does not secure the border or deport one illegal alien.