Boehner rules out immigration reform this year
November 13th, 2013
01:40 PM ET
10 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. yogi

    House Republicans are beyond pathetic, there is nothing complicated about their sinister plot of blocking everything that comes from the President. They are clueless when it comes to the legislative process, they have NO IDEA how to govern. Why does Boehner keep talking about the American people, in his bubble of delusion he really thinks he is representing the majority.

    November 13, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. southernsuga

    They're not citizens anyway, so now loss. They ought to just go home.

    November 13, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "John McCain, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie... even George Bush support #immigrationreform"

    Almost. Rubio has recently done a 180 because he's starting to get scared of being primaried.

    November 13, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. BOBBY VEE

    Exactly what time has the minority group in your caucus allowed for you to go to the mens room on your own Mr. Speaker?

    November 13, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. Liberal Lion

    Yeah, republicans said that medicare was a bad idea too....Now look...They take FULL advantage of it!! Obamacare is a great thing! And one day when you need it, keep your filthy, selfish hands out of the cookie jar!

    November 13, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. FKell

    Well, if he is ruling it out this year, that means it is also ruled out next year being that next year is an election year, and that this is a hot button issue.

    November 13, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. pkrbkr03

    this should come as no surprise to anyone, after all the Republicans won't do A THING to help our country! Wouldn't we all love jobs that give us so much time off for doing nothing and getting paid for it! Vote these bums out!

    November 13, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. tribecagal

    Boehner & the Republicans – the party of "NO". When will these folks ever learn that the people abhor their obstructionist politics. Although I would like to see comprehensive immigration reform the more they gridlock the government the less chance they have of picking up any gains in the mid-terms next year and even less of taking the presidency in '16.

    November 13, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. David

    The American people do not want immigration reform. Dealing with illegals should only involve finding them and deporting them. If they have American citizen children then those kids should be taken from them and their parental rights terminated. Legal immgration should only be limited to college graduates with degrees. If we need to bring in peasants to work the fields then they should be fitted with electronic monitoring and not allowed to travel more than 25 miles from where they are staying.

    November 13, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. danomite

    Why are these guys receiving any pay at all? They won't even try to reconcile their immigration reform bill with the one the Sanate passed, if they even have one at all. If all they're going to do is say no they might as well take their ball and go home now.

    November 13, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. John Henson

    Thus saith the Republican Orange man: "No, no, a thousand times no. WE WON'T EVEN TRY.

    November 13, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. MashaSobaka

    And THIS is why the Congressional approval rating is the lowest it's been since we started asking people if they approve of Congress. "We're not going to do our jobs right now, and in fact we have no intention of doing our jobs ever." If 99% of the workers in this country even HINTED at that mindset, they'd find themselves jobless on the spot. And this is quite possibly the worst strategy for snagging the Latino / Hispanic vote. Looks like the Dems can keep that particular pool of voters for the next election cycle too. Fun as it is to watch the Republicans kill their own party, people who are in desperate need of immigration reform would probably prefer that they get over their childish sensitivities and do their ****ing jobs.

    November 13, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. Good

    I think it's good to not vote on it...by "reform" they mean give amnesty to all illegals? I say NO! Go back to your country and wait in line like everyone else.
    I have friends who've been waiting for years to come to this country LEGALLY and for all the ones who broke the rules to be given a free pass is a total slap in the face of all those who've been playing by the rules.

    November 13, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. msd250

    Lets not forget: the Senate plan for AMNESTY does not require increased border security or deportations of felons.... Conservatives have stated that the "all or nothing" approach the senate passed just wont fly.

    You would think that after the Obozo care debacle, or "you need to pass the law to find out what's in it", Libtard's would become just a little bit smarter

    November 13, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. Lenny Pincus

    He rules it out because it would pass. Perhaps another shot of bourbon will help.

    November 13, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  16. Ralph Passman

    Explain to me what the Senate Deomcrats will do if the GOP get control of the Senate (with less the 60 votes) amd the Presidency. Will they vote in all of the GOP judges. Will they vote away Obamacare? Will they vote for all and any Republican bills to make life easier for the rich and worse for everyone else? Or will they block everything? Considering how the GOP has acted for 8 years I expect I know what the Democrats will do.

    November 13, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  17. Liberal Lion

    Republicans.......a party of hateful people who hide behind guns and religion to pursue their agenda. Got news for you guys.....All of you so-called christians are gonna get your just rewards!!!! RFLMAO

    November 13, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. TomAmerican

    Immigration reform, yes. Open door policy, no. And we should not allow anyone already here illegally to be allowed to become a citizen. History has already shown us that amnesty does not work. Reagan gave amnesty to about 3.5 million in the mid 1980's. Now we have over 3X that number waiting for their turn. If we do it again, how many will we have next time? 20 million? 30? 40? Does those numbers seem impossible? Back in the 1980's having over 11 million seemed impossible. Yet, that is what we have now.

    November 13, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. Susan StoHelit

    They're lazy – but he is right – this is nothing that should be rushed. Nor do I support the grand bargain model mostly.

    People who break our laws are NOT people I want to make citizens. I'm sorry for the kids whose parents put them in this crappy situation – but they got education and plenty from us – I'd give them a nice plus on any application to come here, but that's about it. We do NOT have enough room in this country for everyone who wants to come here, and to give preference (and any amnesty program does give preference) to those who break our laws is nuts.

    November 13, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Alyssa

    Yeah, Republicans would rather keep the status quo, when in actuality creating more legitimate paths for immigration would drastically reduce the illegals issue, and start creating revenue from those who have avoided taxation.

    November 13, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. Name blamon

    Again there goes the GOP leadership the speaker has vow not to bring a long over due major legislature to the house for a vote.The Nation is watching to this group of Tea-Party / conservative is about. Not national interest The GOP here we go.

    November 13, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  22. GaryOwen27

    Could someone please remind me how the republicans paid for/are paying for the invwsion of Afghanistan? How about Iraq? Tax cuts for the rich? destroyed economy?

    November 13, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Michael Cliff

    Congress' approval rating is 9% .....that means that the American people are frustrated with BOTH parties....this isn't about politics anymore...it's about doing whats right....compromising and working together. Something Mr. OBama campaigned on. Now all he is willing to do is point fingers...it's a sad day in America,,,,sad, sad day.

    November 13, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. J.

    Once again our dear Speaker is bowing to the screaming of the T-Party. Do you ever wonder why minorities don't vote for you? Have you not learned anything from the last election? One of these days all of the old white men will die out and so will the GOP.

    November 13, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. Millie Bea

    Boehner really doesn't want any legislation going through Congress at all- ever- because then he would have to take responsibility for something. If you keep kicking the can you can still say you are headed somewhere without committing to being finished. He is shameful excuse for both a representative, but most of all as a Speaker.

    November 13, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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