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. Ken

    Yes, bury your head in the sand and hope the topic goes away. That's why Congress has such a terrible reputation throughout the country. NOTHING GETS DONE!

    November 13, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  2. Kent

    Great – good for Boehner! A good stance to take up
    Republicans are going to continue to take a beating at the polls.
    Maybe in 2016, they will lose even more seats – enough for Democrats to take all 3 and finally things would get done in congress.

    November 13, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  3. Fritz Hohenheim

    He looks plastered in that pic. The cafeteria in congress should stop serving Jim Bean

    November 13, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  4. Cogito

    Of course there won't be immigration reform or probably ANYthing else of any significance, because it would be ridiculous of anyone to expect Congress to DO THEIR JOB!

    November 13, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. Tirso

    The republican way of thinking: "The issue is very complicated, then we will do nothing..." classic.

    November 13, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. D

    98 percent of the bills are NOT read by Congress. Those that are read can be decided whether to get voted on sooner or later. The laws of immigration exist in this nation. Have so for 200 years. There are rules and exceptions that have been on the books for just as long. May I suggest some hear refresh themselves on those laws. It's evident that clearly some here are ignorant when it comes to having knowledge of these laws.

    November 13, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  7. D

    Meant here

    November 13, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  8. outawork

    We don't need immigration reform. We do need to enforce the laws we have and send the people who came to the US illegally back to their home countries. I am a legal immigrant who went through all the trouble to become a citizen and if they want to be citizens of our country they should have to do the same.

    November 13, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  9. jerry walters

    How can this man claim to represent America? He and his agenda make me sick to my stomach!

    November 13, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  10. Scott

    Good, now all you illegals sponging off my tax dollar, go back to where you came from, we do not want your kind in this country.

    November 13, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  11. Hillcrester

    The House GOP never misses the opportunity to miss an opportunity–fortunately.

    November 13, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  12. trey

    They essentially want to keep this cheap immigrant labor force under the radar of any kind of taxation, they are injuring poor Americans who have to essentially 'compete' with 'illegal' labor for menial wage work and handing legal tax payers the bill for 11 million people using our infrastructure unaccounted for, hospitals, roads, ect ect

    November 13, 2013 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  13. freedom_junkie

    Thanks Mr. Boehner, this Immigration Bill is a SHAM !! Rewarding millions who knowingly broke the law, is the LAST thing this country out to do. The Bill is promoted by Fast Food Industry hiding their crimes with illegal workers who shut up. Also people who get Greencards from the Immigration Reform are EXEMPT from buying Obamacare for 12 years !! Guess what Walmart and others will do to US citizen employees ?? Yep, Replace them with these converts and to save Health Insurance expenses.

    November 13, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  14. Jerry

    Here's how to reform immigration: actually enforce the laws on the books and round-up & deport EVERYONE here illegally. Stop violating MY 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law. If you're going to let illegal immigrants violate the law with impunity, where's MY amnesty? They're stealing money from American citizens every time they work a job, every time they send one of their kids to OUR schools. If this is to be not only allowed but also forgiven, I should be able to rob a bank and be allowed to get away with it. Hell, there should be an army of Liberals wasting donor money & tax dollars just to see that I get away with it, scot-free! Let the debate go on for decades and waste tens of thousands of legislator hours while I keep robbing banks, while I train my friends to rob banks – hey, we're only stealing from the same people the illegal aliens steal from, we're just a li'l more honest about it! – and teach them how to get the cash out of the country, removing it entirely from the American economy. YEAH!

    The reality is that if I break the law, I face the consequences. To offer people who are in violation of the law the moment they set foot on American soil or overstay their temporary visa a wink & a nudge and then offer them a way to legally profit from their initial illegal act is an unconscionable – and un-Constitutional – violation of the rights of all American citizens and legally resident aliens. Don't tread on my right to equal protection under the law for the mere sake of political expediency. Or should we start working on our getaway cars?

    November 13, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  15. Art

    Another typical BONEHEAD move. Anything to stop the economy and to allow Obama to look good. He is useless. He'll get his rebuke in future elections. 0% Hispanic vote!

    November 13, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  16. Bamabegone!

    Well - if immigration reform will be as successful as rolling out Obamascare - we're all in for a real treat! I can hardly wait!

    November 13, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  17. EdR

    Of course there is no immigration reform. If there was labor rates might go up which would cut in corporate profits. Heaven forbid a middle class worker should be able to make a living working just one full time job. That would be so un-republican.

    November 13, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  18. Alex Disner

    Imagine that, giving legal status to those people...they will ask for legal working conditions, they will call 911 when they are abused, and they will reject black market jobs because they can have a legal one.

    November 13, 2013 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  19. John Tater

    Remember Reagan's "tear down this wall"? I thought Reagan was their hero.

    November 13, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  20. Just

    Recipe for simple immigration reform; enforce the border and existing immigration laws. Problem solved.

    November 13, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  21. Bill Gates

    The only thing I agree with GOP on is immigration. They have bills in congress for a long time to enforce the 14th amendment, cut legal immigration, eliminate the green card lottery, and make all employers use E-Verify. Instead of one huge package of reforms focused on making illegals legal, Boehner needs to bring the other bills to the floor. He could just show how Obama is a hypocrite because he talks about creating 150,000 jobs every month and at the same time invites 100,000 legal immigrants to take them. This is why the unemployment rate is still over 7%.

    November 13, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  22. Peter

    Does the House plan to do ANYTHING this year?

    November 13, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  23. michael gilbert

    if everyone is legal, then everyone can get food stamps, disability, Medicare and overwhelm the healthcare industry. The republicans are called conservatives for a reason. If you were on a life boat would you conserve water or give the seagulls a drink? The republicans know if immigrants are allowed to live of the govt. there won't be any money left for the legal poor and no one will go to work.

    November 13, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  24. RomeoEcho

    As noted previously, this bit of foot dragging takes care of the non-whites. All the President and the Senate have to do is send a womens issue related bill to the House for the GOP to not act on and that will pretty much take of the next mid term elections. The voting block made up of Hispanics, African Americans and Women will do fine job of keeping the GOP out of any elected office....

    November 13, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  25. Asian head

    To be honest, Democrats in general don't want this bill passed. Hispanic voters are like a golden goose to them, just keep the issue alive and get 70-75% of their votes. Otherwise why didn't Obama pass this bill when Dems were in majority in both the house and the senate? Last time amnesty was granted, a Republican (Reagan) was president. President G W Bush pushed hard for immigration reform as well. A better strategy for Latino voters would be to support the Republicans and make their voices heard within that party. Democratic Party comprises of, among others, unions and free riders who think of hard-working immigrants as a threat. Sometimes things are not as they seem from the surface.

    November 13, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
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