A Teleconference With Dennis Hastert, John Boehner & Roy Blunt

This was a bit of a strange teleconference. Here we were in a meeting with Dennis Hastert, John Boehner, & Roy Blunt about Bush signing the fence bill today and yet, I was the only person to ask a question. I can only assume that there were technical problems that prevented anyone else from talking (which has happened before on more than one occasion) because I would be very surprised if a teleconference like this were lightly attended.

Anyway, here’s a short summary of what each Congressman said (They kept their remarks brief) and the one Q&A. Keep in mind that these are notes, not quotes.

Dennis Hastert: Bush signed the fence bill today which provides 700 miles of fencing. It’s a great first step.

John Boehner: The House has consistently said for a year that we need to secure our borders before we start talking about a comprehensive solution. That’s still what we believe.

Roy Blunt: We were surprised that the Senate took up the bill authorizing the fence. We think the Senate heard from the country and it changed their minds. 75 miles of the 700 mile fence is done and another 43 miles are nearly completed. We put another 700 million in emergency funding for the National Guard and criminalized digging tunnels under the border. So, in the House at least, we’re dead serious about dealing with illegal immigration.

John Hawkins: This is a tight election and there are a lot of Republicans with big warchests that aren’t in competitive elections. Shouldn’t they be chipping in more money to the competitive races out there?

Roy Blunt: Yes, they do have a responsibility to give and they are doing it. Our goal was to get 16.5 million from House members and we’re at 22.5 million and growing.

John Boehner: It’s actually 23 million or so and we’re going to hammer them again today to encourage them to contribute more money.

PS: Yesterday, I published a list of Republicans with lots of cash on hand that aren’t in competitive races. One of those Republicans was Jeb Hensarling. Well, today, his office wrote me to say,

“…I wanted to note to you that Jeb has raised or contributed over $620,000 to the NRCC, incumbents, challengers Leadership PACS. I would venture to say that this puts him in the top tier of member contributors to keep the GOP majority.”

If every Republican in the House had done half as much as Jeb has, the Democrats wouldn’t have a prayer of capturing the House. So, of course, Jeb Hensarling has been removed from the list.

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