Boehner rules out immigration reform this year
November 13th, 2013
01:40 PM ET
11 months ago

Boehner rules out immigration reform this year

Washington (CNN) - If there were any doubts that comprehensive immigration reform efforts were dead on Capitol Hill this year, House Speaker John Boehner eliminated them on Wednesday.

Boehner repeated his long standing opposition to the Senate-passed immigration bill and his pledge the House would never vote on it, but he went a step further, drawing a bright line: "I'll make clear we have no intention ever of going to conference on the Senate bill."

Last week the third ranking House Republican, GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-California, told immigration reform advocates that there wasn't enough time left this year for the House to take up immigration reform. The House is in session 15 days between now and the end of the year.

After Republicans lost the presidential election in 2012 and Hispanic voters voted overwhelmingly for President Obama, Boehner said it was time for Congress to pass major immigration reforms.

"I think a comprehensive approach is long overdue. And I’m confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all," Boehner said in an interview with ABC News the week after the election.

Facing sharp divisions inside his conference on the issue, Boehner insists he still wants action but says any legislation has to be done in pieces.

"I want us to deal with this issue but I want to deal with it in a common sense step by step way," he said Wednesday.

A series of targeted immigration bills have passed the House Judiciary Committee - mostly focused on border security and enforcement - but GOP leaders have not scheduled any floor votes on any of them.

A significant bloc of House conservatives is adamantly opposed to any measure that provides a path to citizenship or legal status for the 11 million undocumented workers in the United States. So far, none of the House GOP proposals addresses that issue, but opponents worry that any negotiation with the Senate would ratchet up pressure on House Republicans to deal with questions of citizenship.

Boehner's statement Wednesday declaring no talks with the Senate on its bill was designed to put those concerns to rest.

The Speaker brushed aside a question of whether House GOP leaders were avoiding the divisive debate on immigration reform to focus on problems with the implementation of Obamacare.

"This is about trying to do this in a way that the American people and our members can absorb," Boehner said, adding immigration reform is too complicated to rush.

"There are hundreds of issues involved in dealing with immigration reform, and we've got to deal with these in a common sense way where our members understand what we're doing and their constituents understand."


Filed under: Immigration • John Boehner
soundoff (636 Responses)
  1. Devon

    Dumb. Nuff said.

    November 13, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. Richard in Houston

    Why is he still in office?

    November 13, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Steve, New York City

    Why does Boehner always look like he's about to cry?

    November 13, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    You made your bed, now sleep in it. That's some excellent minority outreach you got going on GOTP.

    November 13, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Republicans would much rather kill immigration now than let it become lingering part of the conversation in 2014.

    November 13, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Larry in Houston

    LOL – well, it looks like they can take that remark ( the Quote ) that the bonehead made, to the bank, come 2016, with commercial time & ads of all sorts......

    ""I'll make clear we have no intention ever of going to conference on the Senate bill""

    In other words, once the Voters finds out what he said, the Dems will end up executing that remark, when T.V. ads for the election comes around. (regarding immigration)

    November 13, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. just saying

    will the american people trust the democrats wil immigration 'refrom' as their their healtcare disaster is in full swing?!! no way!!! don't bother us with more of your incompetence and 'reform' that feels more like a royal shafting.

    November 13, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. rs

    Because, like, why actually accomplish something? The GOP has raised doing nothin for America to a high art form. Running their 2014 and 2016 campaigns on "doing nothing" is going to be hard for the GOP- especially with the "success" they are having with their minority outreach.

    November 13, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. jinx9to88

    What has this Congress done this year? Can someone please give me one thing they accomplished thats positive? What a bunch of worthless people. The are against entitlements, but its funny they are ENTITLED to their pay no matter what the get done. Pathetic losers!!!

    November 13, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. A True Conservative

    A serious question – what problem are we trying to fix with immigration reform? What is it that everyone really, honestly wants with "reform"? This is a serious question and not a joke.

    November 13, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Data Driven

    Oops.

    No Senate for you in 2014, GOPhers. Bueno!

    November 13, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  12. Thomas

    I'm sure he has more important legislation to complicated to rush !

    Like Defeating the Golfball , cigaret and distilled spirit tax .

    Only in America do we pay elected political leaders to do nothing .

    November 13, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. pkMyt1

    Wow, these guys only have to officially work for 15 more days between now and the end of the year.

    November 13, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    OUTREACH!!!

    This, like the continuing resolution, is yet another Senate bill that the GOP/Teatrolls in the House are refusing to let anyone vote on BECAUSE IT WOULD PASS. There are 190 Dems who have pledged to vote for it and 28 GOPers who have said they would vote for it. So, yet again, we have the GOP/Teatrolls doing everything they can to prevent majority from ruling. let this sink in: the very reason they won't allow a vote on it is because it would pass. If it would fail, it would be up for a vote tomorrow, but no...the majority of the peoples' representatives would vote for it, and it would pass, so the GOP/Teatrolls won't even allow a vote on it.

    November 13, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Galactus

    NO AMNESTY and No pathway to US Citizenship for illegal aliens living in the United States. We all need to tell our Congressmen and Senators that we need our immigration laws enforced by the Federal Government. Deport all illegal aliens, secure the border and fine anyone who hires an illegal alien.

    November 13, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    He even said this to two children of immigrants who approached him while he was eating breakfast this morning. The man is scum.

    November 13, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. Thomas

    Hurry up and wait !

    November 13, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    Just call it like it is, CNN...everyone knows what's up the GOP/Teatrolls' collective colon with respect to the Senate bill: they're afraid of who these people might vote for after they spend 13 years paying back taxes and fines and following the Senate's pathway to citizenship. It's. That. Simple. If polls came out tomorrow saying that illegal immigrants are showing a drastic reverse in party leanings, the GOP/Teatrolls would be pushing a pathway to citizenship like it's the next best thing since nullification via obstruction.

    November 13, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Woman In California

    "This is about trying to do this in a way that the American people and our members can absorb," Boehner said, adding immigration reform is too complicated to rush.

    In other words, you're asking us to work (how dare you) and we have no intention of ever doing that.

    November 13, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Dave

    Translation: We are terrified of showing our true views about immigrants prior to an election in which we're depending on them voting for us.

    November 13, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. Silence DoGood

    So that brings the grand total of things the GOP WANTS to act on lately to (let me get my calculator) ZERO.

    November 13, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. JohnRJohnson

    Wouldn't want hard work and legislating to interfere with their recesses.

    November 13, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  23. No surprises

    Wow... I'm shocked by this news. I'm still waiting for all those "Jobs.. Jobs.. Jobs".

    November 13, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. Nick

    GOOD. No Ammesty Ever! Best news I've heard this year.

    November 13, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. David

    "Great." No reform needed, instead enforce our LAWS!

    November 13, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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