Boehner rules out immigration reform this year
November 13th, 2013
01:40 PM ET
5 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. blf83

    Then, Mr. Boehner, you need to get out of the way and let the business of the people, for the people, and by the people proceed.

    November 13, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. sly

    Gotta love the TeaBillieRepublicans: No, No, No, No.

    No immigration reform.
    No health care reform.
    No gun reform.
    No to increasing embassy safety.
    No gay marriage.
    No to making schools safer.
    No to any anti-terrorism acts.

    The Party of No.

    November 13, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Church of Suicidal

    I thought they were going to stop being the "Party of the Stupid"....

    November 13, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Joel

    Thank Speaker Boehner for continuing to keep in place the anti-democratic H. Res 368 from September 30th that is keeping the power to put bills on the House floor only with the majority leader or his designee. Nothing is getting done because of this...

    November 13, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. DJK

    Thank you Mr Boehner. Keep illegals what they are – illegal.

    November 13, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. Robert Smith

    dennis,
    you forgot" Pay taxes" as legal immigrants they would all pay taxes. Also, I was wonderin', when was the last time you saw Americans lining up for all those jobs picking oranges, cabbage, lettuce , etc? These people fill a very needed role in our country. Are you gonna take those jobs?

    November 13, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. lewtwo

    No big surprise ... the GOP is after all the DO NOTHING congress.

    November 13, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. Festerfree

    There are jobs available – They are very highly-skilled, high tech jobs that go unfilled because America has a for-profit education system that very few people can afford, that saddles them with lifelong debt. Immigrants do NOT take away "quality jobs" from Americans. They take away low-paying drudgery service and agricultural jobs that many Americans will not do. Only an ignorant person would see that there is 1. Plenty of room in the U.S. for low-skilled, TAX PAYING workers that should be signed up to fund our ever-increasing, pork fat spending. 2. Places where no human being should live, which is why they want to come here in the first place, and 3. A duty dictated by the Bible that all these right-wing Christians read to care for the less fortunate and needy – they people want to work! They're not the ghetto-dwelling, welfare-receiving low lifes milking the system, they are hard workers. What you need to understand is, the best thing we can do is "adopt" them, teach them ethical standards of living, working and running their businesses, tax them and enjoy the fruits – literally! – of their labor. Boner has ONE AGENDA: To say "No!" to anything offered up by the other guys. It's DISGUSTING and we need to get rid of this broken political system we have and start over. Step one: TERM LIMITS.

    November 13, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. Yakobi

    If by "reform" the democrats mean actually enforce existing laws, then I'm all for it. Sadly, they don't–they just want 11 million more citizens who will vote for democrats to keep the federal money flowing to those who use more services than they pay for.

    November 13, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. Gail D

    This Democrat, turned Independent is voting straight GOP ticket for 2014, 2015, 2016......

    November 13, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Carol

    Until we have leaders that can come to the middle and each give a little this charade will continue.

    November 13, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Dr Veruju

    Good. At least a breathing space for the 20 plus million* unemployed US citizens.

    November 13, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. Matthew

    The Republicans are always in bad shape politically because the Democrats are the ones who are always trying to give away handouts. The Democrats don't care if you obey the law and come here legally; they just want to let you stay, give you free stuff, and get your vote. We are supposed to keep Obamacare because that's the law but we don't have to keep the immigration laws.

    November 13, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Robert

    Good! Now stick to your guns. Ship all the illegals back to where they came from. If they want to become citizens, then let them do it legally and the right way.

    November 13, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. MrManhattan

    Teabaggers will do anything to drag down the country. They should be rounded up and tried for treason.

    November 13, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. allen

    I definitely want immigration reform! I want a bill to end the birthright clause that is being exploited and I want to see employers of illegals prosecuted. From there I want to see sever criminal charges against those that enter this country illegally. This has to stop! there is not enough work for natural born americans as it is now! We tried the amnesty route under reagan and look where it lead....another,larger wave of uneducated,low skilled trash!

    November 13, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. ironman59

    What a suprise – NOT. The gop house saying NO to doing their job & tackling an issue they scream is a problem. You have a bi-partisan bill that has come out of the senate that addresses the issue and is agreeable to the majority of the senate. But the only word the house & bone-head know is the word NO. Can't wait to get these clowns voted out of office.

    November 13, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. George

    Typical GOP "Do-nothing"

    November 13, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. chip

    Is there anything constructive this cry baby will bring to a vote? Does he need a refresher course on what it means to be a legislator? If he's going to do nothing while in office he should step down and let someone else try to get something done.

    November 13, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. G. W. Bush

    Gail D, you are a moron.

    November 13, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Rodeo_Joe

    GOP = Guardians Of Privilege

    November 13, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. samb

    Good luck in 2016, GOP and the TeaBirchers, you'll need it!

    November 13, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. Roger

    I hate Boehner! Why is he still Speaker of The House? He's an obnoxious person who just makes the GOPs look bad. I have voted Republican all my life, but not anymore. This guy made me hate Republicans.

    November 13, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. davecu

    How about you all 535 alleged legislators get off your partisan high horse and do the work of the voters.
    If you can't do that we WILL find candidates who will.

    Not for nothin'.

    November 13, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. Sandra

    You know of any Americans who are willing to work for American farmers laboring for long hours in unbearable heat, in the sun, even when sick, in the rain, in sleet, in snow, willing to kneel, stand, crouch and walk all day in pesticide infested fields just so they can make enough to fill their bellies and support their children? I don't. You want to see prices of food go up? Send them back to Mexico. When American workers take over their jobs, prices will go up sky high.

    November 13, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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