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Boehner Less Optimistic on Border Crisis Bill

House Speaker says 2008 law about migrants from Central America should be changed.
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House Speaker John Boehner says he’s not as optimistic as he’d like to be about a compromise on a bill to address the immigration crisis before the end of the month.

“I don’t have as much optimism as I’d like to have,” he said when asked about the prospects for legislation.

Boehner has previously indicated that a Republican working group should have its recommendations ready by the end of this week. Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), who chairs that group, says that lawmakers will send their policy recommendations to Boehner today.

President Barack Obama has requested $3.7 billion in funds to address the border crisis. One major sticking point is the issue of a 2008 law requiring legal proceedings for unaccompanied children from Central America – a measure that many Republicans say is causing a backlog of cases and encouraging further illegal immigration.

Boehner cited “comments made by our colleagues across the aisle” as one reason for his pessimism about a compromise. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi initially indicated that she’d be open to a change in the 2008 law but then appeared to walk back that suggestion.

But the House speaker says changes to the 2008 law should be a part of compromise legislation. “I don’t know Congress can send more money to the border to mitigate the problem if you don’t do something about the '08 law that’s being abused,” he said.

NBC's Frank Thorp contributed.


- Carrie Dann