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Entries in John Boehner (11)

Wednesday
Aug012012

Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng Visits Capitol, Says China ‘Deteriorating’

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese human rights activist who captured international headlines earlier this year after escaping house arrest, met with top congressional leaders at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday to plead for assistance from the U.S. government in standing up for human rights worldwide.

Chen, who spoke to reporters through a translator, said the human rights situation in China today is “deteriorating,” but that “as more and more Chinese people are not afraid to stand up and assert their rights, change in China is inevitable.”

“Great cruelty has resulted from efforts to maintain social stability, resulting in a situation in which there is no ethics, rule of law or justice,” Chen said. “Equality, justice and freedom do not have borders, so I hope all of those who pay attention to human rights in China will continue to work diligently in this regard and even though perhaps all of you do not pay close attention to the development of human rights in China over the last few years, there has been a lot of progress, and I do believe that there will be a movement towards a better society with more civil society and justice.”

House Speaker John Boehner said it was “truly an honor and privilege” to welcome Chen to the Capitol, telling reporters that Chen’s plight “humbles us and reminds us why we cherish life and freedom so much and why we work so hard to preserve and protect these fundamental values.”

“While our economic relationship with China is important, the United States has an obligation to engage China and press for democratic reforms and improvement in its human rights practices,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “We cannot remain silent when fundamental human rights are being violated. We cannot remain silent when religious liberty is under attack, and we cannot remain silent regarding China’s reprehensible one-child policy."

“When it comes to guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of all of her citizens, the Chinese government has a responsibility to do better, and the United States government has a responsibility to hold them to account.”

Chen, 40, was arrested in 2005 for condemning China’s one-child per couple law. After hiding out in the U.S. Embassy for a few days in May, Chen eventually sought medical treatment at Chaoyang Hospital in Beijing after being told that Chinese officials would have killed his wife if he had remained at the embassy. He later received an exit permit to study in the United States after accepting an invitation from New York University.

In addition to the House speaker, Chen met with other senior House leaders including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Reps. Chris Smith, Joseph Crowley and Adam Smith, all prominent advocates in Congress for improving human rights throughout the world.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar062012

Boehner Rejects McCain’s Call for Airstrikes in Syria

Chris Maddaloni/CQ-Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday rebuffed Sen. John McCain’s call for U.S. airstrikes on Syrian forces to protect rebel forces.

“I think the situation in Syria is pretty complicated,” Boehner said. “Until there is clearer direction as to what’s happening there involving ourselves at this time would be premature.”

In a speech on the Senate floor Monday,  McCain compared the turmoil in Syria to Slobodan Milosevic’s war crimes in the Balkans during the 1990s. The former presidential candidate said the only way to protect civilians in some major population centers would be with American airstrikes on Assad’s military.

“Time is running out. Assad’s forces are on the march,” McCain said. “Providing military assistance to the Free Syrian Army and other opposition groups is necessary, but at this late hour, that alone will not be sufficient to stop the slaughter and save innocent lives. The only realistic way to do so is with foreign air power.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct072011

Boehner Invites South Korean President to Address Congress

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- U.S. House Speaker John Boehner on Friday invited South Korea's president, Lee Myung-bak, to address a joint meeting of Congress on Oct. 13, which would mark the first time Lee has visited the Capitol since June 16, 2009.

Here is the announcement from the Speaker’s office:


“The American and South Korean peoples share deep ties rooted in history and common values.  The Republic of Korea has been a strong ally and partner in promoting democracy, advancing economic freedom, and combating nuclear proliferation.  It would be an honor to have President Lee, a steadfast friend of the American people, address the United States Congress.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul072011

Boehner, Pelosi Welcome Dalai Lama to Capitol

PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi welcomed the Dalai Lama to the Capitol Thursday, praising his commitment to spread freedom throughout the world while highlighting his unique historical relationship with the United States.

“It’s truly an honor and a privilege to welcome the Dalai Lama to the United States Capitol,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “The bond between the Dalai Lama and the American people has been strong for so long that it’s no surprise that he -- his visits are highly anticipated, and I think rightly so.”

“Wherever he goes the Dalai Lama makes his tireless dedications to the values that we all cherish. He makes them apparent and he makes it a bit contagious. His example humbles nations such as ours that work to spread freedom, tolerance and respect for human dignity, and it sustains those who struggle to secure these universal values for themselves and for their families,” Boehner said. “We appreciate that the Dalai Lama is taking time to speak with us about how we can help spread our shared values, not just in Tibet and China, but the Middle East as well. We extend to you, your holiness, on behalf of the people that we serve our solidarity, our support and our hope that you’ll come back soon.”

Pelosi, D-Calif., said she agreed with Boehner that the Dalai Lama is “the source of understanding.”

“I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve come together under the dome of the Capitol a number of times to honor his Holiness,” Pelosi said. “It is with great admiration -- even I would say affection -- and really a great historic honor to join our distinguished Speaker, our colleagues in a bipartisan way to welcome his Holiness once again to the Capitol of the United States.”

Pelosi recalled that the Dalai Lama’s association with the U.S. and its presidents “goes way back.”

“President George Walker Bush in 2007 was present to present to his holiness the Congressional Gold Medal. At that time he did so honoring the commitment of his holiness to peace, to non-violence, to human rights and to religious understanding,” Pelosi said. “When he was a very little boy and first became the Dalai Lama, President Franklin Roosevelt sent him a watch recognizing his love -- even as a little boy -- for science and technology.”

“It was a watch that had the phases of the moon on it, and it’s always a source of great pride to us that this relationship between our two countries and leaders goes back so far,” she added.

When it became his turn to speak, the Dalai Lama, who just celebrated his 76th birthday, joked that he had nothing to say, and then explained his recent decision to hand over political authority to China and step down as Tibet’s exiled political leader.

“The main reason I believe the country ruled by kings or queens or religious leaders -- they’re outdated,” the Dalai Lama said. “And in fact, the religious institution [and] political institution must be separate.”

“I really felt now is the right time,” he added. “So therefore, I have full confidence now they can take full responsibility -- the elected leadership, by the people themselves -- so they can carry full responsibility.”

The Dalai Lama is in Washington to take part in an ancient Buddhist ritual and a call for world peace. It is possible that he will meet with President Obama at the White House, although he has never been welcomed into the Oval Office.

The Dalai Lama's last visit to the U.S. capital in February 2010 caused a diplomatic spat between the U.S. and China when he met with the president at the White House. The Chinese argue that the Dalai Lama is a dangerous "separatist" who wishes to sever Tibet from China.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun152011

White House Responds to Boehner's Warning on Libya

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The White House responded Tuesday to House Speaker John Boehner's warning that President Obama will soon be in violation of the War Powers Resolution -- three months after the president informed Congress of the start of the mission in Libya -- because the White House has failed to answer "fundamental questions regarding the Libya mission."

"We are in the final stages of preparing extensive information for the House and Senate that will address a whole host of issues about our ongoing efforts in Libya, including those raised in the House resolution as well as our legal analysis with regard to the War Powers Resolution," National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement.

"Since March 1, administration witnesses have testified at over 10 hearings that included a substantial discussion of Libya and participated in over 30 member or staff briefings, and we will continue to consult with our Congressional colleagues," Vietor added.

Over the past 90 days, the maximum days allowed under the War Powers Resolution without Congressional approval, Boehner complains that the president has not asked for or received approval from Congress for the action in Libya.

Boehner wrote Tuesday that while the administration has provided tactical operational briefings to the House of Representatives, "the White House has systematically avoided requesting a formal authorization for its action."

"It would appear that in five days, the administration will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution unless it asks for and receives authorization from Congress or withdraws all U.S. troops and resources from the mission," Boehner, R-Ohio, noted.

Boehner is also calling on the president to explain the legal grounds on which he plans to continue to carry out the mission in Libya beyond Sunday.

He asks for the administration to respond by this Friday, June 17.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun142011

Boehner: Obama Should Seek Congressional 'OK' for Libya Mission

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner is warning President Obama that in a matter of days, he will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution – three months after the president informed Congress of the start of the mission in Libya – because the White House has failed to answer “fundamental questions regarding the Libya mission.”

Over the past 90 days, the maximum days allowed under the War Powers Resolution without congressional approval, Boehner complains that the president has not asked for or received approval from Congress for the action in Libya.

Boehner writes that while the administration has provided tactical operational briefings to the House of Representatives, “the White House has systematically avoided requesting a formal authorization for its action.”

“It would appear that in five days, the Administration will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution unless it asks for and receives authorization from Congress or withdraws all U.S. troops and resources from the mission,” Boehner, R-Ohio, notes. “[The administration] has simultaneously sought, however, to portray that its actions are consistent with the War Powers Resolution.  The combination of these actions has left many Members of Congress, as well as the American people, frustrated by the lack of clarity over the Administration’s strategic policies, by a refusal to acknowledge and respect the role of the Congress, and by a refusal to comply with the basic tenets of the War Powers Resolution.”

Boehner is also calling on the president to explain the legal grounds on which he plans to continue to carry out the mission in Libya beyond Sunday.

“Given the mission you have ordered to the U.S. Armed Forces with respect to Libya and the text of the War Powers Resolution, the House is left to conclude that you have made one of two determinations: either you have concluded the War Powers Resolution does not apply to the mission in Libya, or you have determined the War Powers Resolution is contrary to the Constitution,” Boehner writes. “The House, and the American people whom we represent, deserve to know the determination you have made.”

Boehner asks whether the White House views itself in compliance with the War Powers Resolution, and whether there are new “facts or circumstances which would have changed the legal analysis the Office of Legal Counsel released on April 1, 2011?”

He asks for the administration to respond by this Friday, June 17.

Two weeks ago, on June 3, the House approved a resolution declaring that “the President has failed to provide Congress with a compelling rationale based upon United States national security interests for current United States military activities regarding Libya.”

The resolution also gave the Obama administration 14 days to provide Congress proof that the legislature was consulted before U.S. forces were committed to enforcement of the no-fly zone and also to explain how the operation is authorized under the War Powers Resolution.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun032011

House Passes Resolution on Libya, Defeats Measure to Withdraw Troops

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In a bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives approved a resolution declaring that "the President has failed to provide Congress with a compelling rationale based upon United States national security interests for current United States military activities regarding Libya" while it rejected a more forceful resolution that would have directed the president to remove U.S. armed forces from Libya within 15 days of passage.

H.Res. 292, which was introduced by House Speaker John Boehner, passed by a vote of 268-145. Forty-five Democrats joined 223 Republicans in voting in favor of the measure, while 10 Republicans voted against the resolution.

"We have an obligation to support our troops in harm's way, and stand by our allies," Boehner, R-Ohio, said on the House floor Friday morning during debate on the resolution. "This resolution puts the president on notice.  He has a chance to get this right.  If he doesn't, Congress will exercise its constitutional authority and make it right."

The House also voted to reject H.Con.Res. 51, a resolution introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, by a count of 148-265. Eighty-seven Republicans voted in favor of the resolution, along with 61 Democrats who supported the measure.

The Boehner resolution directs the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Attorney General to transmit to the House "not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution, copies of any official document, record, memo, correspondence, or other communication in the possession of each officer that was created on or after February 15, 2011, and refers or relates to 1) consultation or communication with Congress regarding the employment or deployment of the United States Armed Forces for Operation Odyssey Dawn or NATO Operation Unified Protector; or 2) the War Powers Resolution and Operation Odyssey Dawn or Operation Unified Protector."

The resolution also states "that the President shall not deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of units and members of the United States Armed Forces on the ground in Libya, and for other purposes."

The Kucinich resolution would have directed the president to remove U.S. armed forces from Libya within 15 days of passage, but failed after Republicans abandoned support for the measure once Boehner presented an alternative.

The House was poised to vote on the Kucinich resolution on Wednesday, but when the Republican leadership realized it likely had the votes to pass, the measure was pulled from the floor while Boehner constructed an alternative resolution.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun022011

Speaker Boehner Throws Down the War Powers Act Gauntlet on Libya

Bill Clark/Roll Call via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is throwing what one Republican calls “a legal and political hot potato at the President.”

In a resolution to be voted on in the House Friday, Boehner is giving the president two weeks -- until the Pentagon Appropriations bill comes up -- to either:

a)  Ask for authorization for the military intervention in Libya, or

b)  Figure out how to disengage the U.S. from the NATO operation in Libya.

The resolution states: “The President has not sought, and Congress has not provided, authorization for the introduction or continued involvement of the United States Armed Forces in Libya.  Congress has the constitutional prerogative to withhold funding for any unauthorized use of the United States Armed Forces, including for unauthorized activities regarding Libya.”

Boehner is explicitly and formally stating that the president did not check the box on the War Powers Act before sending the U.S. military to intervene in Libya.

The White House had no immediate comment, though earlier Thursday White House press secretary Jay Carney said “we believe that the policy is working, we believe that the goal the president has is shared by a vast majority of members of Congress, and we have consulted with Congress every step of the way since we have initiated this policy.” Carney went on to reiterate that “our involvement militarily is limited, as the president promised, and will continue to be so, and he has made very clear, for example, that we will not be sending ground troops to Libya; that is off the table.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May052011

Boehner Reaffirms Relationship with Pakistan, ‘No Doubt’ Bin Laden Is Dead

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- In the wake of accusations by lawmakers that members of the highest levels of the Pakistani government were complicit in hiding Osama bin Laden at a compound in Abbottabad for more than five years, the debate on Capitol Hill is raging whether to maintain a partnership in the War on Terror with Pakistan and whether Congress should continue providing billions of dollars in foreign aid to help combat terrorism there.

House Speaker John Boehner Thursday issued a vote of confidence on the partnership between Pakistan and the United States, and called on Washington to actually strengthen its ties with the country that the director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, has reportedly told members of Congress is either “inept or corrupt.”

“I support continued engagement with Pakistan, and frankly, I believe our aid should continue to Pakistan. That does not mean that there aren't questions that need to be asked. It also does not mean that we shouldn't have a very serious conversation with them about their commitment to work with us to eliminate the terrorist threat to our country, our soldiers, and to the people of Pakistan as well,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “It's also important in my view that we use this moment to strengthen the ties between our country and Pakistan. Al Qaeda and its extremist allies have made Pakistan a target, and the people of Pakistan have suffered deeply as a result. Taking on al Qaeda and radical extremism is absolutely vital to the interests of both of our countries. So it's not a time to back away from Pakistan: It's time for more engagement with them, not less.”

Although initial reports indicated that the SEALs were under fire for the duration of the operation, and that bin Laden was armed, the White House has now walked back from those statements, telling reporters that the SEALs received fire from just one person -- bin Laden’s courier, who was in an adjacent building. The White House also says that the al Qaeda leader was in fact unarmed. While the SEALs recovered multiple weapons from the building Bin Laden was hiding in, officials now say that no shots were fired by anyone from inside that home.

Boehner was asked whether he is satisfied with the flow of the information released by the administration after the White House has worked to correct many of the details of the raid.

Boehner also said he has not yet personally seen the pictures of the dead Osama bin Laden, but indicated President Obama made the right call when he decided Wednesday not to make them public.

“I support the decision by the president that they should not be disclosed,” Boehner said. “They've got more information available to them in terms of its impact, but I think they've made a responsible decision, and I support it.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Thursday
Apr212011

John Boehner Wants Details on US Troop Drawdown in Afghanistan

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gary A. Witte, 300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- House Speaker John Boehner isn't letting President Obama off the hook on Afghanistan.

The Ohio Republican, who has been critical of nearly every move made by the White House since he took over control of the House from Nancy Pelosi last January, is now demanding that Obama explain what the planned troop withdrawal from Afghanistan this July will entail.

Boehner, who was in Afghanistan with a bipartisan delegation this week to speak with U.S. military leaders there, said, "If the Obama administration insists on beginning to draw down troops in July, it must explain how the pace and scope of such a move will not undermine the tenuous progress we've made thus far."

According to Boehner, Gen. David Petraeus, who commands U.S. and NATO forces, warned that military gains in Afghanistan are "fragile and reversible."

Obama has said that the drawdown starting in July will be significant and "not a token gesture."  The U.S. and Afghan government would prefer most combat forces be out of the country by the end of 2014.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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