Boehner: GOP will not ‘give the president a blank check’ to fix immigration crisis

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that the ongoing immigration crisis at the nation's southern border is of President Obama's making and cast doubt about whether Republicans will be willing to vote for the $3.7 billion emergency aid package that Obama has requested.

"I'll tell you this, we're not giving the president a blank check," Boehner said.

Republicans have met the Obama proposal with skepticism, casting doubt on whether Congress will act to provide money, aid or a change in the law to assist with the handling of the border crisis.

Boehner was asked whether or not a failure to pass the supplemental funding would open up Republicans to criticism, a suggestion that he forcefully rejected.

"This is a problem of the president's own making!" Boehner said, growing angry and raising his voice. "He's been president for five and a half years! When is he going to take responsibility for something?"

Republicans have leveled sharp criticism at Obama over the immigration crisis, in which thousands of children have been detained at the border after attempting to illegally immigrate from Central and South American countries.

"The president assured the American people that the border is secure, and clearly it is not," Boehner said.

Whether or not the border is, in fact, secure has been a major point of contention between Democrats and Republicans on the Hill. Republicans have repeatedly asserted that the current crisis is proof that the border is not properly secured, while Democrats have countered that the fact that thousands of children have been stopped and detained at the border is evidence that the border is secure.

"It's not a question of the border not being secure, these people are turning themselves in," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during her weekly news conference.

Pelosi and other Democrats have said that approving the $3.7 billion package that Obama has asked for is crucial to ensuring that the resources necessary are sent to the border.

"The supplemental takes us a long way toward meeting the humanitarian challenge," Pelosi said, later describing herself as a "lioness" who feels passionately about ensuring that the children at the border receive due process. "This supplemental is what everybody knows is needed."

Wesley Lowery covers Capitol Hill for The Fix and Post Politics.
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