- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

House Speaker John A. Boehner acknowledged Tuesday he and his colleagues have stumbled over their agenda early in this new Congress after they had to nix votes this week on a border security bill that didn’t have enough support to pass.

“Yeah, there’ve been a couple of stumbles, all in our effort to show the American people we’re here to listen to their priorities,” the Ohio Republican told reporters at a morning press conference after meeting with his fellow House Republicans in a closed-door strategy session.

He said he and his fellow leaders have rushed bills through to the floor in order to get a quick start, including legislation that passed in the last Congress. But he said those bills have led to the stumbles, and he said they need to work them through with rank-and-file lawmakers to make sure everyone is on the same page.

On Monday, Republicans canceled votes planned for Wednesday on a bill that would have set a deadline for the Homeland Security Department to stop 100 percent of all illegal immigration and smuggling at the border. Conservatives had balked, arguing the bill ignored other important immigration matters such as interior enforcement.

Mr. Boehner said those areas weren’t within the jurisdiction of the Homeland Security Committee, which wrote the border bill. GOP leaders are now scrambling to try to find interior enforcement bills they can marry up to the border bill to broaden support.

Earlier Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, posted a Twitter message thanking GOP leaders for pulling their bill, saying he, too, would like to see it combined with other measures that go beyond the border questions.


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