Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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Speaker of the House John Boehner sat down with The Lead's Jake Tapper to talk about a wide range of issues, including Syria, gun control in the wake of Sandy Hook, and being the highest ranking official in the U.S. ... for about 20 minutes.
The White House has said that if Syria is using chemical changes, it would be a "game changer," and the administration would act accordingly. Speaker Boehner has said in the past that he was unhally with the lack of consultation congressional leaders were given before the U.S. acted in Libya. He says he is similarly concerned about potential action in Syria.
"I would hope that as the president is making his decision with what our reaction will be that he will in fact consult with the bipartisan leaders in the Congress, something that didn't happen before our involvement in Libya," says the Ohio Republican. "This is an important part of the process, and I would hope that he would reach out to the Congress so that we could be part of that process."
The speaker had a personal reaction to the issue of gun control, recalling the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"It was awful, and our hearts go out to those who are the victims of Sandy Hook and these other mass shootings," said Boehner. "I would have hoped that the president would have focused on the bigger problem, you know, violence in our society."
The highest ranking official
On Tuesday President Obama was in the air, on his way to Israel. Vice President Joe Biden was also in the air, on his way back from Rome, making Boehner the highest ranking American official on American soil for roughly 20 minutes. He was, essentially, the president.
"No, i wasn't," said Boehner, with a smile. "I was the Speaker of the House."
The speaker did not seize the opportunity to, say, make everyone listen to polka, mandate free cigarettes, or start a happy hour.
"Just keep my eyes focused on my job."
More than 600,000 veterans still haven't received the care they were promised when they came home.
Zach McIlwain is one of them. He went to Iraq not once but twice, coming back with a hand injury and PTSD. It has been more than 970 days since he filed his claim, which the Department for Veterans Affairs, or VA, has still not accepted.
"I'm just sinking in quicksand waiting for something to happen," says McIlwain.
It's a monster under the bed that keeps a lot of new parents up at night, but it seems the more light that is shed on autism, the more troubling the data becomes. A new government report out today says that 2 percent of American schoolchildren, or one million kids, have been diagnosed with some aspect of autism.
But do more kids really have it, or are we just quicker to diagnose it?
"Numbers have varied, but the fact remains the same - autism is extremely common" says professor Zachary Warren.
For more of our interview, click on the video above.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, said today that reducing violence in the U.S. is a real problem.
"They should actually do a real background check on everyone," said Boehner. His office later clarified that the congressman supports existing laws on background checks.
And repeating what several of his Republican colleagues have said on the issue of gun control, Boehner added that enforcing existing laws should come first.
By Jake Tapper and Sherisse Pham
Jay Leno is out at "The Tonight Show" and Jimmy Fallon is in, according to The New York Times' Bill Carter, who also reports today the show is coming back to New York City, after coming to you from sunny Burbank California for the past 40 years.
"The idea that Jimmy was getting the show was kind of out there because Jay has got one contract that he's working on, he's 62, so there was ... an expectation he would be leaving soon," said Carter.
"What is really surprising is the move back to New York," adds the Times journalist. "There are a lot of reasons for it, I think they all feel the energy of New York helps Fallon."