Congressman Fleming smacks down Speaker Boehner

U.S. Representative John Fleming, M.D. (LA) reacted strongly to an interview aired Thursday by House Speaker John Boehner with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.

Boehner said, that a “comprehensive approach” to immigration reform would be a top priority for the 113th Congress, but apparently had not discussed it with other House Republicans.

Fleming released the following statement:

“I’m concerned that Speaker Boehner is getting ahead of House Republicans when he commits to getting a ‘comprehensive approach’ to immigration taken care of ‘once and for all.’ There’s been zero discussion of this issue within the conference, and I’m urging the Speaker to talk with House Republicans before making pledges on the national news. The first thing we need is for President Obama to finally enforce current immigration law and strengthen our borders. To take up any other agenda is bad policy for the American people and bad politics for Republicans. The Speaker needs to pull back on this issue and stop negotiating in public.

“I also am puzzled by the Speaker’s willingness to put new tax revenue on the table when the expiring Bush tax rates come before Congress. Let’s be clear, raising taxes during a very slow recovery is likely to lead to another recession, and it will do absolutely nothing to balance the budget. Washington does not tax too little, it spends way too much. I am concerned that the Speaker’s comments, while vague, are inferred by many as a willingness by Republicans to raise taxes; that would be a big mistake.

“The American people expect Washington to work hard at solving the problems that are mounting against our great country. It’s not a time for Republicans to resort to the politics of expediency, but to stay with the fundamental values that Americans expect. We need to stand strong on conservative principles, and work for solutions that let the free market stimulate true economic growth.”

Dr. John Fleming is a physician and small business owner and represents the 4th Congressional District of Louisiana. He is Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.


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