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. Vitaenverbo

    Mr. Boehner said no to the Senate's Bill for Immigration Reform while saying at the same time that no one in his party has read the bill, because it is to long. Wow, I understand the Tea Party not reading the Bill, because they cannot read, but the entire GOP can't read...is that what he is saying....

    November 13, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Jerry

    Whatever happened to "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," ? We might as well ship the Statue of Liberty back to France. The Republicans should be ashamed of themselves.

    November 13, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. jamessavik

    We don't need to capitulate to illegal immigration.

    Look at Europe's cultural suicide if you need to understand.

    There's an existing path to citizenship. Why reward the cheaters and punish those that bothered to follow our laws?

    November 13, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. dudley

    after 11 million illegals get status, why would you want to pick oranges and cabbage when you can pick up your welfare check. We need to reform the guest worker program.

    November 13, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. hubert39

    As Boehner is saying. The GOP don't need or care about no stinking minorities in our Lilly white rich Republican Party.
    This goes for smart women and students.

    November 13, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    Remember how the Beohner and repubs are always yammering on about the "will of the people" – but didn't let the full House vote on a clean continuing resolution?

    Wouldn't let the House vote on reasonable gun control?

    Wouldn't raise taxes on American millionaires and billionaires (even though a majority of them WANTED to pay more)?

    Won't let the House vote on ENDA?

    Boehner and the GOP = All talk, no action. Bunch of wusses, all of them.

    November 13, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. asif

    if President Obama believes time is now as he said a lot of time and i think time is now for President Obama to do
    some thing real for the deams of more than 11 million people as he did for dreamers.

    November 13, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. barbarae

    there is no reason to pass immigration reform as long as the liar in chief is in office. In fact he needs to be nurtured. He has lied to us countless times. He makes promises and breaks them. You liberals will find the bulk of the american people are through with him and his lies. Go bark up someone else s tree because this isn't going any further than your whining.

    November 13, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. chill

    If Boehner isn't the most ineffective Speaker in decades, I don't know who could top him. Talk about leading from behind. Democrats better realize we have elections every year instead of every four and get off their butts and vote next election.

    November 13, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. RAWoD

    Pity the congress - such a workload. Only 15 more days to work this year. They just don't have the time to do ANYTHING except planning their next election, taking their next bribe, and faking outrage.

    November 13, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Vitaenverbo

    BTW, I am a Republican and I am very ashamed of my part for not having the courage to do what is right....acting like little kids. I wish we had another Reagan, he passed Immigration Reform back in 1986 and get did compromise to achieve the best soultions for our country.

    November 13, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. KellyF

    Thank you Bohener for locking in the latino vote for us Dems.

    November 13, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. barbarae

    there is no reason to p a s s immigration reform as long as the liar in chief is in office. In fact he needs to be n u rtured. He has lied to us countless times. He makes promises and breaks them. You liberals will find the bulk of the american people are through with him and his lies. Go bark up someone else s tree because this isn't going any further than your whining.

    November 13, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. steven

    Boehner and the rest of his GOP idiots, including slime ball Cruz, should be expelled from Congress, have their citizenships cancelled and deported....

    November 13, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. John

    Saying no to the proposed immigration reform in not being obstructionist or not "doing their job." This is a bad bill that does not solve the problem of illegal immigration–unless one doesn't think illegal immigration is a problem. Rather than rolling over like a dog, which would be doing nothing, some Republicans are standing up to the immigration bill as it is detrimental to this country on so many fronts: Rule of law, environmentally, and economically. People who seem to think that being paid off by large corporations (see the letter signed by a hundred companies given to the House leadership) is Congress doing their job need to go back to school. Even if one thought the bill was good, who can trust the President and Congress to make good on what they say it will do? Remember, "If you like your plan you can keep your plan, period." Tens of millions of American citizens un or underemployed and there are people who think that adding up to 20 million illegal immigrants plus another 30 million over ten years legal immigrants is a good idea should think again.

    November 13, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. chhdh

    you are all racist people who leave hated comments against immigration reform

    November 13, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Ship em back

    We need to raid more workplaces and homes,schools and once rounded up they have all their property auctioned off to pay for their deportation. They do not deserve to keep a penny they obtained here while being here illegal, stealing from the American workers and Taxpayers. They need to be treated like the criminal they are and booted without any mercy. Sorry Pedro and Roberto, no more free handouts,no more bankrupting our towns, no more lowering our wages, bye bye Jose......Deport them alll!!!!

    November 13, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Sam

    No immigration reform means no GOP presidents for years to come

    November 13, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. Barry

    Boehner is pathetic...a leader in name only. Continuing as we are regarding immigrants is completely unacceptable. The USA has been built on immigration. The right-wing wackos seem to want to build higher fences and ignore the fact that immigrants are, for the most part, hard working and usually become good TAXPAYING citizens.

    November 13, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. Progresive

    Amazing how obtuse and narrow-minded some people seem to be on this subject...
    From "Ship them back to where they came from..." to "Good, at least a breathing room for 20 million unemployed americans..."
    So disgusting to read this rhetoric in a country where most (if not all) of its citizens are descendants of immigrants! and chances are that 1 out of every 5 or so are descendants of illegal immigrants....
    This lack of empathy and understanding, along with the unadulterated hatred that some posters spew on their comments makes me wonder if we, as a country will ever look forward again, instead of staring at the rear view mirror as we seem to be doing lately, while trying to blame all of our problems on everyone else but us.....

    November 13, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. SK

    If there is any evidence needed that Congress is an absolute joke, it's that they only are in session for 15 days the rest of the year while the rest of us schmucks grind it out to pay their salaries.

    November 13, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. Ratt

    Hey Robert Smith, why don't you use that spin to tell all the construction workers, truck drivers, heavy equipment operators, carpenters, brick layers, sheet rockers, painters, plumbers, concrete workers, asphalt layers, roofers, landscapers, yard workers and carpet layers who have lost their jobs to Illegal Mexicans. Not everybody lives in the land of fruits and nuts out in Mexifornia.

    November 13, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. tom

    Latino voters everything's in your hands next year midterm election.

    November 13, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. As Far As Siam

    ***** 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.

    No president in the HISTORY of The United States has deported more illegals than Obama.
    Easy fact to look up, if you don't get your information from Fox News.
    Guess its true what they say about Republicans after all.
    Its easier to swallow a lie you like than
    choke on the truth.

    November 13, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. Beni

    The party of NO...

    November 13, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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