Boehner in Boise, still hasn’t heard from Obama on Syria

House Speaker John Boehner is in Boise Monday to help raise money for GOP Congressman Mike Simpson. But according to a Capitol Hill newspaper Boehner hasn’t heard from President Obama about the growing prospect of a U.S. military strike in Syria over the use of chemical weapons.

“The president is the commander-in-chief, but the first step is for him and his team to consult with Congress on what he considers viable options,” Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck told Roll Call. “That has not yet taken place.”

Brendan Buck declined to speculate on whether Congress could be called back for a vote authorizing military action.

Obama spoke with foreign leaders over the weekend about possible military action.

Security for Boehner, second in line for the presidency after Vice President Joe Biden, was tight at the Boise Centre, with plain clothed Capitol Police joined by Boise Police in securing the convention center. The entire publicly-owned facility was closed and a Boise Centre official said the building had been rented.

Boehner is headlining two events for Simpson. At 11 a.m., he will speak at a round table for high-dollar contributors and Idaho elected officials, including Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa and House Speaker Scott Bedke. At noon, he will appear at a $50 luncheon.

Those with luncheon-only tickets who showed up early were turned away and told to return at 11:30 a.m.

Boehner was in Boise Sunday for a fried chicken picnic at GOP fundraiser Al Henderson’s home. The event was a chance for Boehner to catch up with his Idaho relatives, who include former GOP Gov. Phil Batt, a distant cousin by marriage.

“We had a nice little visit, very little politics if any,” Batt said as he waited for the luncheon. The event drew about 50 people, Batt said.





Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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