John Boehner: The ‘World is On Fire’

Speaker blasts Obama administration foreign policy

John Boehner

John Boehner / AP

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Speaker of the House John Boehner (R., Ohio) said in an interview in Israel with Politico that the ‘world is on fire,’ and the Obama administration is not doing enough to help.

Boehner is in Israel to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"I wouldn’t have believed that I would be involved in as much foreign policy as I am today," Boehner told Politico. "And it certainly isn’t by choice. It’s just that the world is on fire. And I don’t think enough Americans or enough people in the administration understand how serious the problems that we’re facing in the world are."

According to Politico, Boehner toured six countries in the Middle East and is now more concerned than ever with U.S. foreign policy.

"We’ve got some big, serious problems, and there’s no overarching strategy to deal with it. You’ve heard me say this for two years. I am even more convinced of it today," Boehner said. He added, "Here’s the essence of what I’ve learned on this trip: The problem is growing faster than what we and our allies are doing to try to stop it."

Boehner expressed concerns about Iran nuclear talks, saying Congress would play a role in U.S. policy.

If there’s no deal, he said, Congress would pass a bill imposing new sanctions. If there is a deal, he said he would have to review it, but he is "sure we’ll have a reaction." As he watches the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, Boehner said he thinks the Obama administration is too eager to cut a deal.

"What bothers me is it looks like the administration is so hungry for a deal just to have a deal so they can say they have a deal," Boehner said. "The rest of the world wants something real out of this."

He also said the United States needs a more coherent plan when it comes to dealing with the Islamic State.

"We’ve got allies who are doing a little of this and a little of that. But when I talk about overarching strategy, what I’m talking about is a large plan that involves intelligence, it involves the military, it ought to involve Islamic leaders, there ought to be a communications operation — there are lots of components of this that need to happen and be coordinated with our allies if we’re going to tackle this problem."

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