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Bill Handel

McConnell criticizes Obama border money request

 
Posted July 10th, 2014 @ 9:01am

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell blamed Obama administration policies Thursday for the sudden arrival of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors at the southern border and said the president's emergency spending request amounted to more of the same.

"What he appears to be asking for is a blank check — one that would allow him to sustain his current failed policy," McConnell said on the Senate floor as dispute over the border crisis and President Barack Obama's response mounted on Capitol Hill. "We want to make sure we actually get the right tools to help fix the problem. And that's not what we've seen so far from the president."

House Speaker John Boehner raised similar concerns a day earlier in comments to reporters and was noncommittal about bringing the measure to a vote.

"If we don't secure the border, nothing's going to change," said Boehner, R-Ohio. "And if you look at the president's request, it's all more about continuing to deal with the problem."

McConnell's comments came a day after Obama, in Dallas, appealed to Congress to act quickly on his $3.7 billion emergency spending request aimed at stemming the growing tide of arrivals from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

"The only question at this point is why wouldn't the Texas delegation or any of the other Republicans who are concerned about this not want to put this on a fast track and get this on my desk so I can sign it and we can start getting to work?" Obama said after meeting with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican with presidential ambitions who's harshly criticized Obama over the crisis.

"The problem here is not major disagreement," Obama said. "If they're interested in solving the problem, then this can be solved. If the preference is for politics, then it won't be solved."

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