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

    GOP = The party of NO. Good luck pitching that in 2016. Only GOP dittoheads who have short term memories will get behind the GOP frontrunner then.

    November 13, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  2. TruthandConsequence

    This country has gone mad...spending what it cannot afford on something most do not want, extending to homosexuals "marriage" rights designed for men and women, ignoring the frauds of millions of illegals, bullying our Second Amendment rights, engaging in class warfare and in wars on our Christian heritage...destroy, destroy, destroy. Robespierre and his Jacobins could not have done any better, Obama just lacks a wig.

    November 13, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. Larry in Houston

    wow – – don't know which is more important – regarding the Issues on how the voters are going to Vote – come November 2014 –

    They are either :

    1 ) Going to Vote the Republicans OUT, because of the Immigration Issue. – OR –
    2 ) Going to Vote the Democrats OUT, because of the Failure of A H C A

    2 biggest Issues – – – – 2 ways to go – – -

    November 13, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  4. John C

    In response to Andrew a few minutes below.
    Senator Nancy Pelosi, "But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."
    Don't be a partisan dolt.

    November 13, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. dmwinsd

    The Republicans in the House have more important things to do, like casting another 40 meaningless votes to defund the ACA.

    November 13, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. RettasVegas

    Another nail in the GOP coffin for 2016 election. The only saving grace for them was to get this bill passed ASAP, but again they let the extreme TeaParty folks put yet another noose around their necks.

    November 13, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. don in albuquerque

    And you really thought the GOTP was going to do something? LOL!!! They have not done anything for five years.

    November 13, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  8. truthteller

    Today's GOP putting nails in their own coffin one nail at a time

    November 13, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  9. Ashton

    I am actually kind of glad to hear this. Legal immigrants in this country have to face countless obstacles and complications so they can finally get their green cards. Even a green card sometimes can take upto 10-15 years due to massive backlogs. What about those people? Are they not worthy of a path to citizenship just because they did each and everything right and followed the proper process to make the US their home?

    November 13, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. DJ Reality

    Of course Bohner is ruling out immigration reform this and he will rule it out next year nand the year after that. Why it would make congress look like they did something and we all know they don't want that. They are to bust doing nothing. Oh and they have so many breaks planned over the next few years that there just is not enough time for them to do anything. But golf........

    November 13, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. Humanity4All

    It is probably better to put off and focus on enforcement. Come on lets show we have the ability to enforce.

    If we cannot demonstrate enforcement, we will be back to square one again in 10 years.

    November 13, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  12. JCS

    Illegal immigrants make Boehner cry. Like everything else makes him weep like a little girl. That's YOUR weepy leader republicans.

    November 13, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  13. Nodack

    "No reform this year, we have way too many investigations to conduct and don't have time for anything else on our schedule. Maybe after we Republicans win a few more seats and the WH we might be willing to do something, but not until then."

    November 13, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  14. janie

    How about all us Americans go into Mexico or any other country for that matter and do what the reformers are doing here how quickly do you think we will be deported or incarcerated. I am all some type of reform but not one that is rushed into. If all these immigrants protested in there country for all the corruption that goes on maybe they could save there own land and not have to worry about trying to cross dessert, being sold as prostitutes or giving there last breath for a democratic country. They need to stay home and fix there problems and this I say being a person who comes from immigrants who did things legally according to the law proud of my heritage sadden by the fact everyone cannot abide.

    November 13, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  15. TED

    John Boehner is a wimp. He is not a leader. God forbid anything happens to Obama or Biden. Bohener would not make a president at all. the TEA partiiers run all over him.

    November 13, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  16. Edward

    I can continue to count on Boehner to say no to any item or bill that might be unpopular with his Tea Party buddies!!! Forget the other 80% of voters.

    November 13, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  17. TomNPitt

    Bohner and the rest of the Republicans in Congress are all simply Liars!! Especially that Latino backstabber Rubio!! The republican of immigration reform is depriving them the right to vote or access any governmental programs. all the while getting paid less than minimum wage to pick cotton, oranges and tomatoes!! These guys are despicable. They're so concerned about "all Americans" that their biggest goal right now is TO DO NOTHING!! They could have succeeded in doing that, except that they are wanting to secure rotten Health Care for Tea Baggerz on disability the right to have miserable insurance. They will end up getting that done!!

    November 13, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. reform?

    reform or amnesty? I think it's Amnesty- Real illegal alien reform means deporting them.

    November 13, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  19. Sridhar

    Mr Boehner

    Just resign and go home. Anyone can do better then complaining about everything and doing nothing. When is the right time? Next year is mid term elections so it wont be a good time. A year later the 2016 elections loom so that is not a good time

    Please lead, follow or get out of the way

    November 13, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  20. Jonathon Powelly

    John Boehner, Speaker of the Outhouse, cannot do anything without the Tea Party blessing it. What a sad legacy he will leave.

    November 13, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  21. Steve

    Republicans expect voters to reward them with more power. Yah, right; nice wet dream.

    November 13, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  22. Chris

    Want to reform immigration... start by reforming the lack of enforcement of the current immigration laws.

    November 13, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  23. amarjeet

    Boehner, GOP and Tea Party are focused on election only of next President. They have no concern for people of America and their priorities destabilizing the families, effecting business and effecting the national economy. Total political environments and national economy have been trashed.

    November 13, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  24. Susan

    Come on Boehner, surely you 'evil' conservative Republicans can pass something for your African-American descent President! Your racist ultra conservative Tea Party Congress is more a failure then the President you know–along with Congress being above the law too. DISGUSTING & pathetic...

    November 13, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  25. joerockbottom

    If there were any doubts that Republicans are brain-dead, House Speaker John Boehner eliminated them on Wednesday.

    November 13, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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