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House Speaker John Boehner promises support to new Iraqi leader

WASHINGTON — Speaker John Boehner on Friday promised Iraq’s prime minister that the House will provide the new government in Baghdad the U.S. assistance necessary to defeat Islamic militants.

In an unusual move, Haider al-Abadi wrote to Boehner earlier this week, promising to protect religious and ethnic groups and describing the reforms he is instituting. The prime minister also vowed that Iraq will lead the fight against the Islamic State group — with U.S. help.

“We face an enemy with conventional military capabilities never before wielded by a terrorist group,” the prime minister wrote. “We therefore need adequate security assistance and military support from the United States to combat ISIL. With the remolding of our military, the same mistakes at the outset of the ISIL offensive will not be repeated.”

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is an alternative name and acronym for the Islamic State group.

Boehner wrote to al-Abadi that he will work with lawmakers to provide Iraq with what it needs.

“From military aid to technical and training assistance, we will stand with you to ensure more innocents are not slaughtered — and that the threat does not metastasize further,” the speaker said.

Boehner alluded to the years, dollars and American lives lost that the United States has invested in Iraq, describing the “painful sacrifices” to help the country. He also acknowledged the threat from the Islamic militants.

“ISIL is at war with both of our countries,” Boehner wrote. “ISIL is our common enemy and must be defeated so we — and our families, children and grandchildren — may live in peace.”

The exchange of letters comes as the House weighs President Barack Obama’s request for authority to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic militants in Syria. Boehner and several top Republicans have signaled their support for that request, with a vote expected in Congress next week.

On Friday, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Kentucky Republican supports giving Obama the authority to train and equip Syrian rebels as part of a broader effort to destroy the Islamic State group militants.

In his letter, al-Abadi expressed condolences for the death of two American journalists. He also acknowledged the upcoming midterm elections.

“I know that the plight of my country might be an issue during the campaign,” the prime minister wrote. “I can assure you that the investment America made in Iraq was worth the price.”

Article source: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765659526/Boehner-promises-support-to-new-Iraqi-leader.html

Tax Reform Even John Boehner Could Love


Members Only

September 15, 2014


In a world where principled bipartisanship is often disregarded in favor of political rhetoric, I have a simple proposition for House Speaker John Boehner: Let’s sit down together and figure out how to get tax reform done.

Few would disagree that it’s time to reform the outdated U.S. Tax Code. It’s a broken, dysfunctional mess. Twenty-eight years after the most recent overhaul of the U.S. Tax Code, we are falling behind other countries that have evolved their tax policies to reflect the changing dynamics of the global economy and create an environment favorable to growth.

The United States is stuck with an unsustainable corporate tax rate of 35 percent. Meanwhile, the average corporate tax rate across the developed world — the member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — has fallen to 25 percent. Comprehensive tax reform must address this gap, encourage leading companies to invest further in the United States and reduce the ability, as well as the incentive, to manipulate the system.

It’s time to embrace a modern, and competitive Tax Code that is simple to navigate by individual taxpayers and businesses alike. It won’t be easy, but it has been done before and it can be done again.

As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, I’m working to ensure our country is on the path to long-term growth and prosperity through tax reform. Contrary to the speaker’s recent characterization, my track record is not one of “lip service” but rather of bipartisan action. That includes rolling out the only bipartisan comprehensive federal income tax reform bill in decades — calling for a flat corporate tax rate of 24 percent — which I introduced in the Senate with Republican Judd Gregg in 2010 and reintroduced with Republican Dan Coats and Democrat Mark Begich in the 112th Congress.

As bipartisan efforts were taking place, Speaker Boehner, asked about the prospect for tax reform and several constructive ideas put forth by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, responded, “Blah, blah, blah, blah.”

So instead of more discussion about lip service, why not put aside the political rhetoric, buck the naysayers and come together on tax reform in a critical effort that can greatly strengthen our economy and create jobs?

A 21st-century Tax Code will allow us to grow our domestic economy while strengthening our ability to compete globally. It’s a heavy lift but one that is hugely important, and I welcome collaboration from colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make that happen.

Right now, we have a clear window of opportunity to enact comprehensive tax reform that both the business community and individual taxpayers desperately need. Over the past months, since becoming chairman, I have been working closely with members of the Senate Finance Committee to modernize our Tax Code, close loopholes and protect taxpayers. This work has included serious discussions of key areas of reform including strengthening our international tax regime, addressing student debt and stopping fraudulent tax preparers. This month, the committee will push ahead looking at other critical areas of tax reform, including modernizing retirement security and recharging energy policy. And at the same time I’m working to address the growing issue of inversions in a bipartisan way that bridges to comprehensive reform.

While there are many varying viewpoints and approaches to comprehensive tax reform, we share a common goal of ensuring that the United States is on a long-term path to sustained economic growth.

I enjoyed working with the speaker when we were both in the House. My door is wide open and there is plenty of work to be done on a bipartisan basis. And so, Speaker Boehner, let me know a time that works for you, and I’ll bring along some of Oregon’s best pinot noir.

Sen. Ron Wyden is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Article source: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/09/tax-reform-boehner-stop-beating-around-the-bush-110965.html?hp=pm_1

John Boehner: Raw politics behind Obama immigration delay

President Barack Obama’s move to delay executive actions on immigration is sure to soothe Senate Democrats fretting about a voter backlash but gave Republicans another chance to paint the White House as politically calculating.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) swiftly criticized Obama’s decision to hold off until the end of the year, which came after an increasing chorus of Senate Democrats sounded alarms about the prospect of the White House acting on its own to stem deportations just months ahead the competitive midterms. The House’s top Republican said there is never a “right” time for Obama to sidestep Congress on immigration and “declare amnesty by executive action.”

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“But the decision to simply delay this deeply-controversial and possibly unconstitutional unilateral action until after the election – instead of abandoning the idea altogether – smacks of raw politics,” Boehner said in a statement Saturday. “The American people deserve honesty, transparency, and accountability – and any unilateral action will only further strain the bonds of trust between the White House and the people they are supposed to serve.”

(Also on POLITICO: Obama punts on immigration until after election)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also panned Obama’s decision.

“This is clearly not decision-making designed around the best policy—it’s Washington politics at its worst,” McConnell said. “The president is required to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, not—as he has admitted—make them up as he sees fit.”

White House officials said earlier Saturday that Obama will delay plans to issue an executive order on immigration until the end of this year, following a rising cry of concerns from Senate Democrats who feared a political backlash following any sweeping administrative action on deportations.

The announcement marked a remarkable reversal from forceful comments Obama made in the Rose Garden in June promising to act on his own on immigration because Republicans are unable to move legislation through Congress. The Democratic-led Senate passed a sweeping immigration overhaul bill in June 2013 that included a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States.

(Also on POLITICO: Obama, Hill leaders to huddle)

The reversal enraged immigration advocates, who have pressured the Obama administration for months to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from being deported – but the White House had quick public support from at least some Democrats on Capitol Hill.

“I know that the president is determined to act,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Saturday. “When he does, I support a broad use of his authority to fix as much of our broken immigration system as he can through executive action.”

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who recently suggested that Obama should hold off until after the November elections, said Saturday’s move was the “correct decision by the president.”

“There’s no way anybody was going to listen to an informed debate on immigration while House Republicans are scared of tea party members before the election,” Nelson said.

(Also on POLITICO: Dems urge immigration order delay)

In a phone interview Saturday, Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.) said “obviously, I’m disappointed” in the delay but he said he understood that Obama was working within the parameters of what was politically feasible.

“I think the president’s heart is in the right place,” Garcia said. “The president is signaling that he’ll do something before the end of the year, and I take him at his word.”

Still, Obama’s decision is sure to drive a rift through the Democratic Party. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said in a CNN interview on Friday — before the delay was announced — that he disagreed with fellow Senate Democrats who have urged the Obama administration to hold off. Obama called Menendez on Friday night to discussion executive action on immigration, an aide said.

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), the rare senator in a competitive re-election bid who has endorsed executive action on immigration, said Saturday: “I’m disappointed that President Obama has now delayed action to help keep families together.”

Colorado is one of the few states with high-profile Senate races where the Latino vote could play an influential role in November.

“Taking action to keep families together, which is necessary only because of the House’s failure to act on the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan immigration reform bill, will target resources to deporting criminals and those who pose a safety threat to our communities or our national security,” Udall said.

But the calls from vulnerable Senate Democrats continued to get louder, as the influx of unaccompanied migrant children at the Texas border this summer upended the politics of immigration.

Democratic Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Pryor of Arkansas – two top targets of Republicans this fall – said in July that Obama should not act on his own to slow deportations. But in recent days, other Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2014 – such as Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Al Franken of Minnesota – urged the Obama administration against executive action.

Despite the White House delay, the issue is unlikely to disappear from the 2014 campaign trail. Former Sen. Scott Brown, who is seeking to unseat Shaheen, immediately criticized the Democratic senator over Obama’s decision to hold off on executive action – even though Shaheen said she opposed Obama going at it by himself on immigration.

“Make no mistake: President Obama plans to grant amnesty,” Brown said in a statement. “It’s just that he will cynically wait until after the election so as not to harm Senate Democrats like Jeanne Shaheen.”

Article source: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/john-boehner-barack-obama-immigration-delay-110665.html

The House, in Rare Unity With Obama, Will Leave the Trail for an ISIS Vote

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Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/12/us/republicans-lean-to-backing-obama-on-isis-fight.html

John Boehner: ‘We Ought To Give The President What He’s Asking For’ On ISIS

WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday urged Congress to authorize the arming and training of opposition forces in Syria, a key element of President Barack Obama’s plan to defeat Islamic State militants threatening the Middle East. But the Ohio Republican expressed concerned that, even if implemented successfully, it would take years to defeat a group that poses such a threat to America.

“We ought to give the president what he’s asking for,” he told reporters at a weekly press conference.

The president on June 26 asked Congress for $500 million to arm and train Syrian rebels, which he again urged Congress to approve in a prime time address to the nation Wednesday evening. In the fight against Islamic State extremists, Obama said, “we must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all.”

The speaker said that a number of House Republicans do not believe that Obama’s strategy, which requires American airpower in conjunction with allies and partners in the region, would ultimately accomplish the goal of destroying the militants. After meeting with his conference at a special members conference Thursday morning, Boehner said that “no decision has been made” on the way forward, and that security briefings would continue for members over the weekend.

Boehner said that while “it would be in the nation’s interest” for Congress to approve military action on ISIS, traditionally a president must ask for it. The administration maintains that Obama already has the authority to take military action against the Islamic State, using the 2001 Iraq War authorization for military force as its legal rationale.

The speaker also said he supports the president’s request to arm Syrian rebels because without a ground presence, defeating Islamic State militants would be extremely difficult.

“An F-16 is not a strategy. Airstrikes alone will not accomplish what we’re trying to accomplish. Somebody’s boots have to be on the ground,” he said.

Boehner also suggested that he disagreed with the president’s decision to take U.S. troops on the ground off the table, but that as commander-in-chief, the president’s wishes should be followed.

“I would never tell the enemy what I was willing to do or unwilling to do,” he said.

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/11/boehner-obama-isis_n_5805230.html

Boehner to Obama: Don’t reject ground troops

House Speaker John Boehner blasted President Barack Obama on Thursday for saying no U.S. combat troops would be placed on the ground in the fight against ISIS in Syria.

“An F-16 is not a strategy. Airstrikes alone will not accomplish what we’re trying to accomplish,” Boehner told reporters in his weekly media briefing.

“The president has made clear that he doesn’t want U.S. boots on the ground. Well, somebody’s boots have to be on the ground,” he continued. “And so I do believe that what the president has asked for, as the commander in chief, he has this authority to train the Syrian rebels, and frankly we ought to give the president what he’s asking for.”

Obama announced Wednesday night that his plan includes airstrikes in Syria, as well as training moderate Syrian rebels who are also trying to combat the militant group. The latter action requires specific congressional approval, and Boehner said he supports giving the president that authorization.

Still, he blasted Obama’s decision to draw a line on putting U.S. troops on the ground.

“I would never tell the enemy what I was willing to do or unwilling to do,” Boehner said.

Congress has not passed any authorization. And while Boehner said it would be in the nation’s interest to vote, he punted to the White House, complaining it had not presented Congress with the language for a resolution.

Pressed by CNN’s Dana Bash on why Congress wouldn’t just write its own language, Boehner reiterated that the White House has typically taken that initiative.

“That’s not how this has happened,” he said. “The president would make that request and the president would supply the language for the resolution.”

While he said he would support the authorization, he still remained skeptical of the president’s mission.

“I’m not sure that we’re doing all that we can do to defeat this terrorist threat,” he said. “If our goal is to eliminate ISIL, there’s a lot of doubt whether the plan that was outlined by the president last night is enough to accomplish that mission.”

Article source: http://www.wisn.com/politics/boehner-to-obama-dont-reject-ground-troops/28005004

‘An F-16 is not a strategy’: Boehner says GOP has doubts about Obama’s plan …

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday said many Republicans have significant doubts that President Barack Obama’s game plan for attacking the Islamic State will work, and indicated that Republicans believe a significant commitment of ground troops is the only way to defeat the terrorist group.

“The president’s made clear that he doesn’t want U.S. boots on the ground,” Boehner told reporters. “Well, somebody’s boots have to be on the ground.”

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio warned Thursday that many Republicans doubt Obama’s plan to fight the Islamic State will work. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“An F-16 is not a strategy, and airstrikes alone will not accomplish what we’re trying to accomplish,” he added.

Boehner was part of a classified briefing with administration officials about Obama’s plan, and a GOP meeting. He said several Republicans in the latter meeting expressed doubts about Obama’s plan.

“I can tell you in our conversations this morning, a lot of our members don’t feel like the campaign that was outlined last night will accomplish the mission that the president says, and that is to destroy ISIL,” he said, referring to a shorthand name for the Islamic State.

“Frankly, a lot of our members think a lot more needs to be done than what was laid out last night,” he said.

“We’ve got to keep our eye on the ball,” Boehner concluded. “The issue here is about defeating a terrorist threat that is real and imminent.”

Obama hesitated to even call his new proposed efforts a “war,” and instead referred to it as a “fight” against a terrorist group.

Boehner also criticized Obama for delivering a speech that said explicitly the steps Obama does not want to take in Syria and Iraq, such as committing ground troops.

“I would never tell enemy what I was willing to do or unwilling to do,” he said. “But he is the commander in chief, he made that decision.”

Despite those criticisms, Boehner said he supported the idea of having Congress give Obama the express authority to arm and train moderate Syrians fighting the Islamic State and their own government.

“At this point in time, it’s important we give the president what he’s asking for,” Boehner said.

But Boehner said so far, the White House has not sent over any proposed language authorizing those activities. He said the White House has generally proposed this language in the 24 years he’s been in the House, but said the House has not seen any language yet.

When asked why the House doesn’t write and pass its own language, Boehner said, “Typically, in my time here in Congress, that’s not how this has happened.”

Boehner also said it’s not clear whether the House would try to attach any war authorization language to a short-term spending bill that the House is expected to pass next week.

Article source: http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2014/09/11/an-f-16-is-not-a-strategy-boehner-says-gop-has-doubts-about-obamas-plan-for-islamic-state/

Obama ISIS Speech Criticized by House Speaker John Boehner, GOP Senators …

President Barack Obama addressed the nation about his plans to target the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, and lawmakers from the Republican Party commented on the positives and negatives of his strategy.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Obama withdrew his previous dismissals of the Islamic State but “rightly acknowledged” the increasing threat from the terrorist organization.

“[Obama] has finally begun to make the case the nation has needed him to make for quite some time: that destroying this terrorist threat requires decisive action and must be the highest priority for the United States and other nations of the free world,” Boehner said in a statement following Obama’s primetime address on Wednesday.

“A speech is not the same thing as a strategy, however.”

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The House Speaker admitted Obama made a “compelling” argument for action against the Islamic State but that the president left many questions unanswered. While Boehner said he supports Obama’s plan to train and equip the Iraqi Security Forces and Syrian opposition, Boehner was concerned that the measures could “take years” to fully implement while the Islamic State sees “momentum and territorial gains.”

“It is also a cause for concern that the president appears to view the effort against ISIL as an isolated counterterrorism campaign, rather than as what it must be: an all-out effort to destroy an enemy that has declared a holy war against America and the principles for which we stand,” Boehner said.

In a joint statement, Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, disagreed with Obama’s statement that “America is safer.” The Republican senators agreed Obama explained the reason to confront ISIS.

“He described the correct goal — to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS. He laid out the elements of a comprehensive strategy to achieve this goal, all of which we have long championed. And he explained the need to hit ISIS wherever it is, although the need to do so in Syria is more urgent than the President conveyed,” McCain and Graham said.

The senators added that bipartisan support is needed, and they are “eager” to receive more information regarding to the president’s proposals. Graham and McCain emphasized Obama’s plan is “insufficient” to “destroy” the Islamic State. The senators issued their own proposals to eliminate ISIS, which includes additional U.S. special forces and advisers in Iraq, regional support from other Middle East countries, the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and to maintain a “residual presence” of U.S. forces in Iraq.

“The rise of ISIS did not have to happen. We have lost too much time and missed too many opportunities. But we can still defeat our terrorist enemies, protect our people and our partners, and secure our national interests in the Middle East,” Graham and McCain said, adding Obama’s plan can help achieve “vital” goals, but the president must be committed.

According to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Congress will work with the Obama administration to ensure U.S. troops have the resources to succeed their missions.

“My expectation is that the administration will explain how best to build a moderate Syrian opposition capable of defeating ISIL,” McConnell said in a speech at the Senate Floor.

“I’m hoping that the Congress will consider what this multi-year campaign will mean for the overall defense program. … That said, I’m glad the President has brought a new focus to the effort against ISIL. He needs to take this responsibility head on. This Congress, the next Congress, and the next administration have serious work ahead as we consider this multi-year commitment, and what it will take to defeat ISIL.”

Boehner said the administration has recently made efforts to brief members of the House of Representatives and Senate on the “range of options” Obama contemplated.

“Those briefings and consultations will continue as members review his proposals, and I hope we can continue a dialogue about how to most effectively confront and destroy this enemy. House Republicans will meet [Thursday] morning to discuss next steps,” Boehner said. 

Article source: http://www.latinpost.com/articles/21268/20140911/obama-isis-speech-criticized-house-speaker-john-boehner-gop-senators.htm

Thumbs Up for President’s War Plan From John Boehner

Boehner’s Master Plan gives me one HUGE, MASSIVE, rock-hard WAR
Boehner!!!! Let’s git it ON, Dudes and Duddettes!!!
Go, Warriors!
Go, Warriors!
Go, go, gonads!
Rah, Rah, Ree!
Kick ‘em in the Knee!
Rah, Rah, Rass!
Kick ‘em in the other Knee!

Article source: http://reason.com/24-7/2014/09/11/thumbs-up-for-presidents-war-plan-from-j

Boehner: Obama’s speech is not a strategy

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Article source: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/217373-boehner-obamas-speech-is-not-a-strategy