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. DonInPLB

    One thing of which we, as Americans, can be assured is that if there is ever an iron clad guarantee that any particular issue will not be addressed by the government that announcement will spill forward from the mouth of John Boehner. I am 66 and he represents the poorest level of government employee to which I have ever been exposed. Receipt of his salary could almost go listed under the description of a felony. Unfortunately, he is hardly alone in this lack of moral character, but he can take solace in the knowledge that he is the shining beacon of it.

    November 13, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. cbp

    Oh dear, another piece of legislation which will not be brought before Congress. For many years I have watched as politician after politician chose to ignore pieces of legislation, chose to let hot topics slide by and allowed military men and women arrive home without ever saying thank you. Even that great General Dwight. D. Eisenhower missed cues. He did not speak out to help the young men and women who integrated the Little Rock Public Schools. He did not lead the nation in a welcome home for Korean War veterans. Members of Congress did not either. It is much easier to let things go by and then tell us all how you will do a better job as a member of Congress or as President.

    Right now we have so many children going hungry every day. We have people who do not have a roof over their heads. We have immigrants who are living in limbo. We have a health care plan in trouble because some in Congress refused to work together to produce the best affordable care bill ever. We have people who could help to work out the kinks in the computer program and nothing happens. In other words we are a country of people who like to see others fail so we can announce that we could do better. Meanwhile nothing gets done. The affordable care act does need to be implemented to insure that every person who wants health insurance is able to get it. That should be the bottom line.

    So let's stop fooling around and playing politics and just get this done now. It would behoove the networks to look for the good, report the problems and stop scaring the people.

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

    The only legislation these Repubs can get up for a vote are for Obamacare repeal. That's even after their intellectual leader Palin declared the war on Christmas as their new broken record issue.

    November 13, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  4. Susan

    About immigration... Let's just not do anything about it. We haven't for for most of my life–why risk wrecking your Congressional careers now?

    November 13, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  5. incalifornia

    Good for Boehner. Nobody wants amnesty for the illegal aliens, except the Hispanic nationalists and the criminals in the business lobby who want cheap labor and more customers for their fast food joints.

    November 13, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  6. SkepticalVoter

    Well, if that's the case, how about enforcing the laws already on the books!!?? Oh and when you DO finally get around to immigration reform REMOVE THE "ANCHOR BABY" CLAUSE.

    November 13, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. Colo001

    The Dems are imploding yet you lefties are here sounding off??? too funny

    November 13, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  8. Dave

    Gee didn't the Republicans just tell us that the democrats should have come to conference on the budget stuff because it was the best way to hammer out differences and to negotiate? Hypocrite weasel. The House Republicans were never willing to negotiate on the budget until their poll numbers dropped like a stone, and now it's the same thing here. The Democratic Party certainly has its problems, but no one should ever vote for a Republican again. The party has just become entirely useless when it isn't actually harmful.

    November 13, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. Arizona Immigration Laws Work

    It makes me sick to see traitors on here defending illegal Mexicans who come here only for one reason, and that is to steal from the American Worker and Taxpayer. Many towns and schools are bankrupt or going that way, social services, welfare, foodstamps, emergency rooms, infrastructure are all going bankrupt because of illegal Mexicans. Many schools have to spend money they dont have on special spanish only classes because illegals kids refuse to learn english,when the money could be used to improve our schools to better our kids lives. Our wages have been lowered,jobs stolen,and not just low wage jobs. Then to add more insult we have Illegal Mexicans at La Raza rallys waving and shaking their fists demanding rights while waving their mexican flags at us. These illegal Mexicans do not love America, they only want to steal from America......DEPORT DEPORT DEPORT........

    November 13, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  10. stopdrinkinthekoolaid

    if it's anything like bummacare – we won't know what's in the bill until it's passed, I wouldn't bring it to a vote in the house either...

    Say hi to princess and prince for us!!!!

    November 13, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  11. blakenaustin

    The only immigration reform we need is for Uncle Sam to start enforcing existing federal immigration laws and to stop opposing border states that are seeking to secure their borders. Amnesty for 11 million illegal aliens is not immigration reform.

    November 13, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  12. The Difference

    What a pathetic group of losers the GOP. They tout wanting to get immigration reform done, of course only for political reasons, i.e., for votes, but when their feet are held to the fire they renege on the matter completely. Yet they say they too are humanitarian but why then don't we see it! That's the House Republicans all over.. They talk big but do nothing when it comes right down to it at the end of the day. Democrats however, as the true and caring humanitarians that they are, appreciate those always hard-working immigrants who pay their taxes and who do the hard work here that other Americans literally refuse to do even though it needs to get done, therefore, Democrats RULE!!

    November 13, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  13. SkepticalOne

    The republican'ts remind me of a four year old child throwing a tantrum with his fingers in his ears chanting NO NO NO...

    November 13, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. TheLeftWing

    Boehner always looks like he is ready to cry. Maybe, this time it is because he knows the Tea Party that has him by the short hairs, is rolling out the red (maybe that should be the blue carpet) for Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats.

    November 13, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  15. Alain Delon

    Yes!yes!Yes! Thank god for conservatives. With 20 million iligalls ,their relatives and of their family members the Dems wanted to allow close to 50 million ilitertate, unskiiellec and gov depended law breakers to come and feed off the already bankrupt welfare system. Plus,this bill proposed an additional 33 million so called new skilled workers. Meaning Indians.
    Enough is enough ! Let us take care of USA first for a change !

    November 13, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. Erik

    Boehner is the gift that keeps on giving – to us Democrats.

    November 13, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  17. horse

    Well, mostly Republicans are all Christians without Christ in them, how inhuman, selfish, hard hearted without any compassion for other people at all. God has made all people alike and their is no legal or illegal in the eyes of the Lord. The saying on the Statue of Liberty is good ' give me your poor and down trodden I will help them' and also the saying in the pledge 'Equality and Justice for all' You guys preach very good but do not put into practice. Before 1913 Immigration Act, most of the people came here in ships and from land to this country when the Indians used to own this land, had they stopped all your forefathers would have been an unauthorized immigrants in this country. Everybody who are in this country is an immigrant at one point of time. Who knows Boooner's grand parents must have sneaked into this country just like Romney's. After the 2012 election Boehner said he would pass immigration reform because of the results and now he changes his tone just like pharaoh did and you guys would find it in the mid-term elections or 2016 and you are banking on the ACA which has gone bad for the Dems but people will forget but they do not forget those who are alienating their families from their kids. seeya in mid or 2016.

    November 13, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  18. Dan

    Fifteen days of work from now till the end of the year? Wow, I need that job. $175K, very few days of work; and to top it off, you don't have to do anything except say no. My kind of gig.

    November 13, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  19. the d

    The cost of mass deportation is fine with me. We understand the repercussions, we are OK with them. Our sympathies have been exploited for too many decades and we have become hard. I would lose some friends but at some point even us democrats have to say, you know, we need a serious reduction in immigration, we need serious enforcement of immigration laws, we need a period of strong deportation, we need more balanced immigration, and we need to think about the happiness of our own citizens. We need to look at changing birthright citizenship and the utter abuse of the h1-hb and other visa programs that have been done by many foreign companies. The American citizens need a period of time to settle down and get a little more stabilized before we wratchet up the mass immigration machine again. Then, we can get back to the hit and runs, the poor job market, the crowding, the foul attitudes, the crime, and all those other things we love so much.

    November 13, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  20. Mary

    Perhaps if all the bars were closed in Washington Boehner could focus enough to do some work. Not likely though.

    November 13, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  21. j

    Good! The illegals don't belong here and the ones already here don't deserve amnesty!

    November 13, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  22. steve

    Good job Mr. Boehner! The dems have made a huge mess and it's going to take republicans to fix it. Just hang in there till elections. Obamacare will sink the liberals and real Americans can take over. Just take a look at the headlines. The dems are running from Obama now. No more "thrills" up the idiot voting party legs! The Kool-aid is starting to taste like poop! Ha, love it.

    November 13, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  23. Chris

    How about we try immigration enforcement instead of reform? Oh, right, that would be too inconvenient for the millions of illegals living here to actually follow the legal immigration process.

    November 13, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  24. Rich Townes

    phew...just when I thought the GOP would make hay out of the Obamacare fiasco, they hang on to no immigration reform...thanks guys...you just gave the next round of elections back to the Blue side! Muchos Gracias!!!

    November 13, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  25. anAmerican1954

    Vote in 2014 to increase the Democrat majority in the Senate and to create a firm Democrat majority in the House to get our country moving forward.

    November 13, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26