The Buzz

April 30, 2014

BuzzChatter Wednesday: Boehner backtracks on calling out his GOP colleagues on immigration

And...Roberts proclaims that the Keystone pipeline solves the jobs problem

The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

Good morning.

• “Ohhhh, don't make me do this. Ohhhh, this is too hard.” — House Speaker John Boehner mocking his fellow Republicans last week who were complaining about how hard it is to pass immigration reform.

The speaker admitted Tuesday that he shouldn’t have made fun of his colleagues. Boehner made his original remarks at a Rotary Club event near his home in Ohio. At the time, the speaker also said that members of Congress “get elected to make choices. We get elected to solve problems, and it’s remarkable to me how often many of my colleagues just don’t want to.”

• “The notion that taxpayer dollars would be used to pay cash bonuses to employees who’ve engaged in conduct that could get them fired or sent to jail is outrageous.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill on legislation she’s filed that would prohibit the payment of bonuses to federal employees who aren’t in good standing with their agency or the law.

Turns out that a recent Inspector General report found that $2.8 million was paid in bonuses from 2010-2012 to 2,800 federal employees who had conduct violations. That includes more than $1 million to 1,100 IRS workers who were delinquent on their taxes. McCaskill’s bill won’t poke a big hole in the federal deficit. But it’s the principle of the thing.

• “If you want an actual solution to unemployment, here it is.” — Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts expressing his frustration that President Barack Obama continues to delay final approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

That statement is a little over the top, but the senator’s point — made on the Senate floor Tuesday —is that the project would create badly needed jobs. Still, Roberts avoided a topic very much on the minds of environmentalists and those concerned about the future of the Ogallala Aquifer that juts into Kansas. And that is, what happens if there’s a break in the pipeline? What might that do to the future of the aquifer, which is so vital for the vitality of western Kansas?

• “The tax cut will happen.” — anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform,

on a major tax cut

that’s passed the General Assembly, but will likely be vetoed this week by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. (link courtesy of

Norquist toured the state with House Speaker Tim Jones drumming up support for the tax cut. If Nixon vetoes the bill, lawmakers are expected to try to override him, and the vote is expected to be very close. This is the second straight year that Nixon will reject a GOP tax-cut plan. The governor beat the GOP last year when Republicans fell 15 House votes short of an override.

Related content



Editor's Choice Videos