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. cacique

    Next year is soon enough. Make sure it happens though. Let's do this.

    November 13, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  2. dc

    He tried to stop Obamacare, and now you know why, in spite of all the kool-aid being poured. Immigration reform needs to happen, but not in the same slam dunk way that the Dems pushed Obamacare through. Cut him some slack and it will be dealt with next year, with all due discussion. Let's try REAL transparency for a change....

    November 13, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. ed dugan

    Hooray!!!! Maybe this will stop the hispanic plague from taking over the US. No path to citizenship, round them all up and send them back. Best thing that has come out of DC all year!

    November 13, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. Tony Starks

    Power Tripping....

    November 13, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. I R Amazed

    JUST DO YOUR JOB!!!!!
    I have never in my life seen the party that controls the House do so little governing and legislating yet complaining that they don't have enough time while obstructing actual bills and walking out on negotiations, if they'll even allow them in the first place..
    In school, I'd routinely put off writing papers until the last minute, but at the last minute I turned those papers in and got passing grades. Using that analogy, the House Republicans, who should get an F minus for their grade, get away with an incomplete. Except, in this case, that incomplete hurts everyone else and not the "student" with their right fringe base.

    November 13, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. ed dugan

    Congratulations to the Republicans. I am a Democrat but would like to see the US keep those people out. And send the ones that are here packing!!

    November 13, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Fish

    The Republicans were the ones which granted amnesty during Reagan's term now they won't even grant a vote??? Ronnie is rolling as we speak!!! The wretched Republicans can't find a voice much less a plan!!!

    November 13, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. just saying

    democrats, the party of criminal illegal aliens. law breakers that have invaded our country, suck up our governemnt resources, send their money back home and refuse to leave.

    the people that will lose big time if they are granted citizenship is the black community which already has astronomical unemployemnt numbers thanks to obama. but he doesn't seem to care about that.

    nothing should be done before we secure the border and fix the problem of people overstaying their visas. if those are not fixed, we'll be back in the same spot 10 years from now with another 30 million illegals in this country. in simple terms, plug the holes before you start baling the water.

    November 13, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. Rick

    Well, The speaker told us all what the problem was in the last paragraph: "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." No Grand Obstructionist Party member in the house knows how to do their job, and certainly none of their constituents have a clue as to understanding anything.

    November 13, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. Dc

    Some of you open their month and criticize people that came here illegally, without knowing the fact of how they got here to the So call American Dream, some of us came to this DREAM when we were children and not by our free will you have no idea the ordeal we have to endure every day, be thankful of you legal status and make the best of it go to school get a degree get a job and become a productive member of this society and don't let ignorance fill your hart

    November 13, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. Russ

    If I was looking at priorities it wouldn't be Immigration Reform. It would be the next debt ceiling and budget talks. I personally think we need Immigration reform. We have to do something but you don't have to fix it today and it shouldn't be brought up now trying to get the nation thinking about something else other than getting the incredible fiasco with health care and this incredible fiasco with debt ceilings dealt with first.

    November 13, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  12. Klan_man

    How is this surprising? If a whole bunch of do-nothingers republicans do nothing, should I be surprised? When last did they do anything apart from obstructing everything?

    November 13, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. CryBabies

    @Larry, Larry, Larry......Do you really want to enter the realm of not reading bills before they are voted on by congressmen and congresswomen? Seems as though the democrats performed that task rather well with the wonderful ACA . And how did that work out for all of us?!

    November 13, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  14. John Boehner is WRONG

    somebody stop this GI JOE figure head. LOL

    November 13, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  15. Jim

    What do they get done? Do they get anything done? Can you report on what if anything gets done because I'm under the illusion it may be nothing. Is it truly nothing? Do they just meet, badmouth the other side and adjourn? And what is that costing tax payers?

    November 13, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  16. Bobby Ray

    Keep it up! With the GOP supported exclusively by white males, they will fall into the dust bin of history, along with their outdated worldview.

    November 13, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  17. Republican Turned Independent

    Folks, I am a 40 something white male in VA. I tended to vote Republican on the national ballot when I was younger. That is until the Bush #2 years and a decade plus of war and a bad economy. I do not know what happened to the Republicans. I think it is the internal contradictions. I had no problem with them on money issues generally, even know I am lower middle class. But, what really turned me to the Dems and the INDs is the hate and the intolerance the far right garners. It IS hate. (And fear). The final nail in my particular GOP coffin was the incredible gall they have when it comes to personal freedoms – and the frothing it invokes when you question them about it. They want to dictate to others what to do with their bodies (THC, Gay marriage, abortion) but they don't want the govt to interfere with their "pet" causes: guns, christ, and business. I ask you, how can you be pro life and pro guns. How can you have small govt if the govt needs to be big enough to peek into peoples bedrooms and bathrooms? (And living rooms? And kitchens? And nurseries. Etc ad nauseum.) Don't get me wrong Dems irk me with some of their condescending methods and attitudes. (I am an atheist, but I generally dislike the way other atheists present it to others.) But, I would rather have a compassionate, yet condescending left wing politician representing me than a hate filled, close minded, and culturally backward Righty. This is the 21st century. The time the repubs are desperately trying to keep went out with the horse and buggy. GOP... understand the new dynamic or be overwhelmed by it. Because eventually, all the folks you marginalize will eventually marginalize you out of existence. I know you won't follow the advice, but I gave it one last try. See you in 2014 when I "flip" again and vote ANY DEM to ensure you don't continue what you have already done to this beautiful, if flawed nation.

    November 13, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  18. Getoverit

    @Andrew
    He’s not allowing a vote because he hasn’t read the bill?
    -------
    Yeah, let's just pass it without reading it. We all know how well that works.

    November 13, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  19. Will

    Republicans could care less about immigration Reform, they don't even want the legal people in this country LOL. Here in Florida they latino's have taken over! Its like Whites & Blacks are no where to be found...

    November 13, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. ben

    Thanks Boehner, you just elected Hillary as the next president.

    November 13, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  21. Robert N. constant

    Once again, Republican contempt for the Democratic process of majority rule. Once again, the Republican contempt for the Hispanic community.

    November 13, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  22. frontgatee

    Republicans are afraid to bring up immigration reform. They'd vote for a restrictive policy and turn minority voters against them.

    November 13, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  23. ThinkItThrough

    For those of you thinking that all these illegal aliens should take the "go through the system" path to citizenship, step back and use your brain. Regardless of your party you have to understand that logistically we cannot deport 11 million people. If we give them a path to citizenship then all of a sudden they are paying taxes and in the system. Before you decide we should just build a wall or increase security, think about what is actually feasible.

    November 13, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  24. Jeb

    The Republican controlled house has accomplished absolutely nothing since the GOP took the majority.

    They are the most dysfunctional and least productive Congress in history.

    November 13, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  25. ERic

    Pho Kyu as an Asian American you disgust me. My family came LEGALLy to America, yet you equate immigration with ILLEGAL immigration. And I'm sick and tired of the Hispanic voting bloc putting racial solidarity and race before the country. Why shold ILLEGAL aliens be rewarded for their criminality? American citizenship is something that must be earned, not given away. And we do not need all these new people on Medicaid and food stamps.

    November 13, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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