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. Jack

    Does it surprise you?

    November 13, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. Tony Antin

    Boehner prooves time and again that he (and the extremists who speak loudest in the Republican party) are simply selfish people who "on the bus so close the doors." Just plain bad people.

    November 13, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. matey

    Thank you House leader Bonehead. You really are helping The Conservative Tea party type succeed in destroying the moderate Republican members,, The moderate Republicans will probably vote Democratic and The Republicans will lose the next presidential election.
    I must congratulate you on doing a fine job to help The Democrats win the next election. I thank you, my brother thanks you, and the USA thanks you. Your anti immigration policy will really get you many Hispanic votes to let The Democrats win. What are you trying prove??

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

    The immigration question should be put on the ballot and let American people decide what should be done to the illegals.

    November 13, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. Alan

    So what else is new. Washington doesn't know how to play well together, instead sitting down and making a compromise plan, just don't do anything! I would get fired for doing a job like this (both sides).

    November 13, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Web1

    Good! There is a system already. Do it like all others before. No rewards for breaking the law. No more bought votes for the Liberals. God bless America.

    November 13, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. NorCalMojo

    They could always try enforcing the current law.

    November 13, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. Ratt

    Oh yea, let's see the Senates Bill was 1,300 pages long, had no security for the Borders, expands Medicaid for Illegals, does nothing about 'anchor babies', stops deportation and protects Sanctuary Cities. Yea, what could possible go wrong here ?

    November 13, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Mancee Grayce

    Yet another in a VERY long list of things the GOP house will NOT do for the American people. Boehner and his partners in crime are all guilty of treason.

    November 13, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Jason

    The party of NO strikes again. One wonders how long the Republican Party can 'govern' when all they do is say NO to everything. And what a gem Boehner is. Last year, it was 'comprehensive immigration approach is long overdue'. This year he wants to deal with immigration in a 'common sense step by step way'. I guess some freshman congressmen let him know what to say this year. What makes me chuckle is Boehner's hypocrisy – calling for Obama to be a leader when he himself fails to lead.

    November 13, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. corpsman

    The House works 15/45 days!? Maybe THAT'S the real problem!

    November 13, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. jeff

    close it up and throw em out com here the right way

    November 13, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. Hal Bass

    Boehner and the tea partiers who control the GOP caucus will pay for the lack of immigration reform next year at the polls. Even Texas will suddently be in play.

    November 13, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  14. sanfordjames

    Bonehead is useless as is the modern GOP – we need Ike's GOP back.

    November 13, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  15. tom

    Latino voters everything's in your hands in next year midterm election 2014.

    November 13, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. Josh

    What a "crock"!! When are the repubs going to learn? Damn, they don't DO anything!! What gives?

    November 13, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. James

    The Democrats should now "Thank" the GOP House members for the 2016 Presidential Election Win and most likely the significant increase in the House and Senate! A comedy of missteps and miscalculations in the past few months add to the reality the GOP just can't govern without saying "Either I get exactly what I want or I I'm taking my toys and going home!"

    November 13, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Who cares, Boehner lost all his legitimacy as a leader last month anyway.

    November 13, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Vitaenverbo

    If you are not for Immigration Reform, then you are not an American, just a racist! If you have kids, you make a great parent!

    November 13, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. Larry38363

    Gee, think of the money we are wasting paying the House of Representatives. The only person we need to have there is Boehner. He's the only one being allowed to make decisions and usually the wrong ones as far as the average American Citizen is concerned. No one else is allowed to do their job. He could do us all a big favor and get excellent job approval if he would just resign his speakership; his office as Representative; and, shoot himself. Now that would be a real blessing!

    November 13, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. gmclenith

    Really, Boehner. Your obviously going to waste the entire year doing nothing. So, why don't you go back home and stay there permanently. Because you're useless as a leader.

    November 13, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Rich

    "Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists." —Franklin D. Roosevelt

    November 13, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Name Jeff

    Hispanics are overwhelming poor, and the poor vote for dems anyway.

    I know....I work in San Diego.

    November 13, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. Aaa comment.

    We passed obamacare so we could see what was in the bill and 3 years later, it is a disaster. Let's not pass immigration reform for the sole purpose of getting it on the Obama legacy We need to know what is in the legislation and the short and long term ramifications.

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

    They ought to do a jobs bill and immigration bill at the same time, that way if they want to have legislation to create 15 million jobs, they can include another 11 million to 30 million jobs for those that they will give amnesty to, and maybe a few more million for those that will come across illegally aftert they find out they will eventually get amnesty. I think the only way they can get that many jobs, in excess of 50 million good jobs, would be to shorten the work week, like they did before. Another way might be to rescind all of the bad trade deals that they made, or maybe both. If they don't do something of that sort, workers will have to live, or try to live, with the massive labor surplus that we have now. They might think about some policy to export workers, especially the young, skilled, educated, talented, or the rich. There has to be some way of getting rid of all the excess workers, we are likely to have a huge labor surplus for generations to come, as more bad trade deals are made, more technology comes, as well as millions of immigrants, and just normal growth in population.

    November 13, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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