Today was a quiet in the House Majority Leader’s office for his weekly “pen and pad” with reporters, as Rep. John Boehner refrained from commenting on Republican Study Committee Chairman Mike Pence’s immigration plan revealed today and “throttled” himself from commenting on the FBI investigation of Democratic Rep. William Jefferson’s bribery schemes.
A reporter asked Boehner if he knew anything of Pence’s plan, Boehner said, “I heard he gave a speech this morning, I haven’t heard any of the details, but I would suspect this would be one of many trial balloons to be floated in coming weeks."
When provided details by Human Events that Pence’s plan proposed a privately run temporary worker database and a requirement workers leave the country to acquire visas Boehner would not comment. He said, “[There’s] a lot of ideas out there.”
On the FBI’s weekend investigation of Jefferson’s congressional office related to his acceptance of a $100,000 bribe from a secret agent, Boehner said he had to “throttle himself back.” He declined to comment and associated himself with statements made by Speaker Dennis Hastert. The Speaker has said he would have blocked federal agents from searching the office.
Boehner said, “I clearly had serious concerns about what happened…but the Speaker is going to take the lead on this. He’s the constitutional officer outlined in the Constitution will protect the interest of this branch of government and I’m sure there will be a lot more said about this.”
When pressed, Boehner did call the FBI’s actions and “invasion” and said he expected the debate would “end up across the street at the Supreme Court.”
Other details provided by Boehner include:
Energy: Later this week the House will consider ANWR to “authorize environmentally safe energy production on 2,000 acres of the 20 million acres that are in ANWR.” Boehner told reporters “For those of you who don’t know, or the math may be a problem, ANWR is the size of South Carolina and we’re talking about here a 2,000 acre footprint where this will occur and given the new technology this is a very light footprint. We need to remind people, I need to remind all of you had President Clinton not vetoed ANWR in 1995 the United States could be getting about 1.5 million barrels of oil per day from ANWR, an amount equal to the production of what was lost in the Gulf after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. So, the Democrats, I think have shown that their energy policy runs on nothing but hot air.”
Iraq: In a meeting at the White House this morning with the President, Boehner said “The President made clear that we have a job to do and we will not play any political game sin terms of withdrawing troops before the election. We have 3,000 lives invested in this thing and millions and millions of dollars. This is a fight we are going to win and until we do our troops will be there.” He also said the new government “seems to be very serious about cracking down on the insurgents and there continues to be hopeful signs this thing is coming together.”
His plans for Memorial Day recess: Going home and spending Tuesdays through Saturdays touring the Midwest campaigning and raising money.
American Idol: A CBS reporter asked him who would vote for. Boehner said he didn’t follow it, but would root for the girl.