WASHINGTON, DC – At his weekly press briefing today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) took the president to task for his administration’s lack of accountability on several fronts, including the struggling economy, the blatant stonewalling of the House’s IRS investigation, the failures at the VA, and more. Following are Boehner’s remarks:
On the White House’s Job-Destroying National Energy Tax:
“Every day here in the House, we’re focused on the people’s priorities – jobs and accountability – but can we say the same for the White House?
“Let’s start with the economy. The American people are still asking the question, ‘where are the jobs?,’ while the administration’s working on their national energy tax that’s going to destroy American jobs. Next week, the House will focus on solutions that would deliver a real ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy to lower costs and to grow our economy.”
On the IRS’ Stonewalling:
“Then there’s the IRS, which – after illegally targeting Americans for their political beliefs, violating their First Amendment rights – has apparently now ‘lost’ two year’s worth of Lois Lerner’s emails.
“You know, the White House promised to cooperate, but did nothing. The White House – the president called this a phony scandal, yet who could possibly believe that they’ve lost two critical year’s worth of emails for the central figure in this investigation.”
On the Lack of a Long-Term Plan for Fixing the VA:
“Then there’s the VA, which needs bold reform, but the president has offered nothing. We’re moving forward with some important short-term solutions, but they’re no substitute for the long-term strategy that this department needs.”
On the Humanitarian Crisis at Our Borders:
“Now let’s move on to our borders. We’re seeing a humanitarian disaster, one of the administration’s own making. There’s been a dramatic increase in the number of unaccompanied minors that are crossing our borders from Guatemala and Honduras and El Salvador. The administration’s actions have only served to encourage more illegal crossings. It’s another situation that appears to have caught the administration flat-footed.”
On the Terrorist Surge in Iraq:
“And finally, let’s look abroad. Now at least one of the five Taliban commanders that was released played a key role in al Qaeda’s plans leading up to the attacks of 9/11. The White House thought the American people were going to cheer when the president released these terrorists. I think his misreading of the American people is fairly shocking.
“And with terrorists marching toward Baghdad, we’ve asked the president for a strategy to reverse the momentum and spread of terrorism. I heard a little bit about Iraq yesterday, but the White House has known for months about the situation in Iraq, and when you look it’s not just Iraq. It’s Libya, it’s Egypt, it’s Syria. The spread of terrorism has increased exponentially under this president’s leadership.”
On the Need for the President to Lead:
“And, as you may recall, after the last election, I said that I hoped that the president would seize this moment and take the lead. And here we are, a year and a half later, you look at this presidency and you can’t help but get the sense that the wheels are coming off.”