Boehner predicts vote on stopgap spending measure next week

Greg Nash

Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerRepublican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare The disorderly order of presidential succession MORE (R-Ohio) said Thursday that the House is still on track to vote next week on a funding bill to avert a government shutdown, but he didn't say whether President Obama's request to authorize training and arming Syrian rebels would be attached to the measure.

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BoehnerJohn BoehnerRepublican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare The disorderly order of presidential succession MORE said GOP leaders would punt the Syria decision to next week, but that he believed the House could wrap up work before lawmakers return to the campaign trail.

"I would hope so," Boehner said when asked at a news conference whether the House could finish the funding bill by next week. "There is no reason to be around here that much longer."

After a closed-door caucus meeting Thursday morning, some GOP lawmakers had suggested the House might have to come back the week of Sept. 29 to get its work done, given the unresolved debate over Syria.

Boehner said some in his conference were uneasy with the strategy laid out by Obama Wednesday night that included aiding Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), sending more humanitarian aid and deploying 475 additional armed service members to provide non-combat support.

Some feel like the strategy doesn't go far enough, while others are worried about putting arms in the hands of the Free Syrian Army. But Boehner reiterated his support for Obama's strategy.

"Frankly, we ought to give the president what he's asked for," the Speaker said.

Yet Boehner shot down rumors that leaders had decided to link Obama's Syria request to the continuing resolution (CR) funding bill. Some members have been clamoring for separate votes on the items.

"Not true," Boehner said about a plan to tie the Syria language to the CR. "There is no decision that's been made on how we're going to do this."