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. Hopeless Republicans

    Why would we expect Republicans to actually accomplish something? Unless they are polluting the air or invading countries or building jails, they can't make money!

    November 13, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. Organic1

    Of course they will not do anything about immigration, they haven't done anything at all about any subject, it's called obstruction and they use it at every turn.

    November 13, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. Justaguy

    "The House is in session 15 days between now and the end of the year."

    Today is November 13th – that means (by a normal workweek) you've got approximately 30 work days until the end of the year.

    I want their schedule.

    November 13, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    The senate bill doubles troops on the border to 48,000, gives border patrols all sorts of new tech (more drones, helicopters, etc.), mandates $3B be spent on the "dang fence" etc., and the pathway to citizenship it offers requires paying all sorts of fines, back taxes, etc., and takes THIRTEEN YEARS to complete. What will the House GOP/Teatrolls do? They will pass piece-meal all the parts they like (i.e., the draconian border security measures) and then nix any pathway to citizenship...and here's the kicker: instead, they think they'll be able to get away with passing something short of citizenship...a second-class citizenship...that will require people here illegally to pay taxes in order to stay, but not be able to vote on their representation (taxation without representation), which will in fact be considered a massive mortal insult by the entire Hispanic community. The freekin Revolutionary War and the BOSTON TEA PARTY ITSELF was started over taxation without representation, but apparently it's ok to do that to people when their voting habits are terribly inconvenient for you.

    November 13, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. sampleanswers

    Now there is more reason for minorities to hate Republicans especially the tactics of this BOOOONER. Good luck come election time, as you will be wiped out.

    November 13, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. rachel

    There are more important things to deal with on the table than immigration. We have a budget to worry about. We have a train wreck of obama care. Enough said!!!

    November 13, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. Tennessee

    With statements like these, republicans need not contest in the next elections..they are going to lose terribly.

    November 13, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. Paul

    Worst performing House in the history of this country. They had time to vote to repeal obamacare 45 times but no time for immigration? Interesting?

    November 13, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. truthfulgiant

    Either way, the Democrats win. If they don't work immigration reform, they will continue to lose black and Latino votes. If they do, then it is another initiative from the left that moves forward.

    November 13, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Fish

    I think Boehner has ruled out action period. The worst squeaker of the house ever!!!

    November 13, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. Long

    How do you expect the implementation of criminal immigrant amnesty to go well, if the Obama Regime can't even get ObamaCare to go right?

    November 13, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. michael

    This isn't about immigration reform, it's about all the illegal aliens becoming citizens. Go back to your countries and get in line behind all the people with way more qualifications. All this will do is bring our country down more by taking away jobs and more welfare.

    November 13, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. bspurloc

    john crybaby pants.
    is this what Cruz instructed him to say?

    November 13, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. bczu

    How about do your jobs? And why do these people get off for a few months out of the year? Our government no longer works for us, they work for themselves.

    November 13, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Jimmy Zee

    Obamacare is working out so well that yes we will now talk about immigration, NOT !!!!!!

    November 13, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Ian

    Why do we have to pay the House?? They haven't passed meaningful legislation in years....

    November 13, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. WV Gleeman

    "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.

    You are supposed to capitalize a proper name. Don't make him mad Boehner. Rush will make you cry....again.

    November 13, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. truthfulgiant

    That's fine, John. The Democrats will just continue to garner black and Latino votes. Thanks.

    November 13, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  19. cranky99

    Of course! What else should we expect?

    November 13, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. AmericanVet

    Nothing complicated about it. Enforce the current laws!!

    November 13, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. Jimmy Zee

    Immigration reform, HA HA HA HA When hell freezes over !

    November 13, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. thetruth

    Of course not, the only thing Boehner and the Repubs have done in the past 4 years is vote to repeal Obamacare. Other than that...no, no, no oppose and obstruct all day.

    November 13, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  23. truthfulgiant

    That's fine, John. The Democrats will just continue to garner minority votes. Thanks.

    November 13, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. John

    Boehner is like a tin-horn dictator. The votes for immigration are there in the house, and the American people want it. But this one man stands in teh way.

    November 13, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. gwood25

    Great news! It's great to see this train wreck of a party, the GOTP, self destruct with their obstructionist ways! Won't confirm a single nominee, shut down the government, gave us the idiots Palin and Cruz, now immigration reform is off the table too! See you at the Mid-Terms!!!

    November 13, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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