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

    In other words – Boehner the coward knows he can't get anything done, is horrible at his job and that anything he suggests either way will fall on deaf ears within his own party...so he has decided to kick the can down the road yet again and only offer to work on this issue "in pieces", which really just means they have no ideas on this issue just as they have no ideas on any other issues.

    November 13, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. patNY

    Unless Boehner is going to spend the next 15 session days trying to ban abortion and repeal the ACA, what else is on his plate that he can't take up immigration? It's not like this hasn't been in the works for a while.

    November 13, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. ari

    hmm I rule out congress getting paid the rest of the year

    November 13, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Patrick Farley

    Oh.....I am SO over him...Go away Speaker Boehner, for the good of the American people.

    November 13, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Tom

    They better have something down by 2015.....or they just handed Hillary an easy win. That's going to be so cool....Bill gets to be First Man of the USA...........OMG....HISTORY will love it.

    November 13, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. Joanne

    I'm just tired of the government not actually doing anything. Boehner, which is definitely not an American name, is only waiting for the last possible minute to conference on republican legislation. However, the problem is that obamacare could actually turn around and be helpful in which case he will single handedly destroy the GOP. An amazing feat I might add in view of what damage has been done by the Democratic Party. As far as immigrant opinion...has anyone forgotten that we raised the debt ceiling?? We need as much taxpayer money as possible. Unless of course we like communism, seeing as China could own a chunk of us if we default. Just saying.

    November 13, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. sammy750

    DOA is the norm for Boehner and his Tea Party. They are the biggest FRAUD in the nations history. With an approval rating of 9%,

    November 13, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. Al

    I AM SO SICK OF THE DYSFUNCTION IN THIS GOV'T!!! It has gotten to the point where especially the republicans and those that control them...the extremists of the Tea Party will not do anything productive until they have a republican president...it is sad to say that our government is no longer functional and it appears that the days of compromise are gone. I am an independent and vote for who I believe has the ideas I believe in but these days I don't think it matters who is elected or what they say...it's all a game to get elected and stay in office...it's no longer "for the people, by the people'.

    November 13, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. Hillary 2016

    --> Once again, the do-nothing Republican Congress proves....JUST THAT!

    November 13, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. patw2100

    Good. All these illegals need to get out of America. Todd Cruz needs to be first in line.

    November 13, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. wally

    Thank Gawd we have Bohner to fight the GOP!

    November 13, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. Mark

    The GOP is doing a great job of outreach to the growing minorities. They seem to be on a quest to win Utah and Mississippi in 2020..., and not much else.

    November 13, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. jrsgta

    COOL. GOP just lost TEXAS and ARIZONA for 2016 for slow walking the bill...

    November 13, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. Independent Voter

    GOP does not plan on winning any presidential elections any time soon. Adios GOP!

    November 13, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. Chris

    There isn't anymore incentive for Congress to pass immigration reform than there is for illegal immigrants to become legal citizens. Without immigration reform, illegal immigrants already reap a fairly significant benefits package including a valid, state issued drivers license. The drivers licenses are being handed out almost strictly by Democratic legislators in clear violation of Federal law.

    November 13, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. Ahhh Sheit Midrauers

    He just wants to be the tannest guy arpund

    November 13, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. Tom

    Yeah.....they have devoted all their time to fighting the ACA............don't have time for any other nonsense. Because if the ACA ends up actually working like it's suppose to......OMG......the GOP is a cooked goose.

    November 13, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  18. John

    Actually, we are a nation of Americans, who have the right to set reasonable limits on immigrantion, lest we be overwhelmed by the hundreds of millions who would like to move here. In that situation we would cease to be a nation of any kind. Can we remain a nation of Americans? Only if we can contain the greed of Republicans who want cheap labor and the power lust of Democrats who want cheap votes.

    November 13, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. Bill Davis

    In other words the GOP has refused to do their jobs for 5 years running.....

    November 13, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  20. Al

    By the way I do tend to agree with Ahmed but for me it's a more troubling problem with the total dysfunction of the government and the path that our government is seemingly going is to stonewall and do nothing until they get a majority and can either push through just what they want or vote down anything they don't.

    November 13, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. SkippyCanCan

    Boehner saying the House is going to do NOTHING is hardly news, but it's nice to see that he is just being honest this time and saying they won't even go to conference with the Senate over the immigration bill. Many of us thought that the members of the House were elected to govern, but apparently that was not the case for the GOP.

    November 13, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  22. Honest American

    We need E-Verify!

    November 13, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. Rufus

    Democrats see illegals as future Democratic voters, nothing more. The fact that they are in this country illegally means nothing to Democrats.

    November 13, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. Lauging at you

    Thanks John, you just put another democrat in the WH comes 2016

    November 13, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  25. mariosphere

    Boehner, you are a major clown. Go back to the circus that spawned you.

    November 13, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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