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. WilliamG

    I have just lost all faith in Boehner..people scream President Obama is weak..NO Speaker Boehner is WEAK..he can't get anything passed through the house..He is sealing his departure from the Speakership!

    November 13, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. tygre

    Boehner is a disgrace to the role of the Speakership.

    November 13, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. craig

    Way to go John, continue to get nothing done!!

    November 13, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. mike1959

    WOW, before pass any bill for inmigration, we need to enforce the law, Secure the border and then talk about this issue

    November 13, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Rojer

    12M illegal immigrant can pay taxes and assist the economy because either way they are surviving by working illegally and not paying taxes and the burden is left to the citizen and not the politician. It's about time to not brush this issue off it's been 27yr it's been brush off.

    November 13, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. SARAH

    So the Republi-Klans rules?, I thought we voted for a Democrat for President. President Obama must sign a Deferred from Deportation Executive Order, and grant legal status to those poor immigrants today !

    November 13, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Zayah V

    They are doing something, they are getting paid.

    November 13, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. Ian

    Why is Boehner so afraid to stand up against these tea party zealots? Can't he see that the tea party is a malignant cancer.... if left unchecked it can and will eventually destroy the GOP.

    November 13, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. mike electrician

    Well thanks for nothing...again GOP. I am sure glad you keep coming up with new ways to alienate the fastest growing population. Clinton 2016!

    November 13, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. sammy750

    House Speaker Boehner is the largest Fraud in our government. Does the people expect Boehner to do anything. He is the most incompetent leader ever in the HOUSE, yet he earns $245,000 for doing nothing. He works for the Tea Party who doesn't want any work done. He is the PUPPET of the Tea Party. Most useless male ever.

    November 13, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. nikosan

    I did not need CNN to deliver this news to me. I am aware of the House GOP's work ethic and protocal.

    November 13, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. Rob

    Awesome. I'm gonna go tell my boss I can't do my job because even though there are hundreds of us to do the hundreds of items of work; its just too much and we need even more vacation days.

    November 13, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. ug

    Yep...but ovomit still wants it done...no illegals in this country!

    November 13, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. Geoff

    OHH MAN!! He must have REALLY been picked on in school!! LOL

    I got a Boehner right now actually! haha

    November 13, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. Screamin Scott

    Looking at the idiotic liberal posts on this thread. The most pressing issue is budget talks as that needs to be addressed asap. Immigration reform has to take a back burner because it is an issue the Dems are pushing simply to appease illegals so that they will vote Democratic should they be allowed amnesty... Vote buying is another name for it...

    November 13, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. GMR

    Let's just not have any immigration laws. Heck, let's welcome anyone wants to come to this country. Isn't that what the Statue of Liberty represents? We are the melting pot, correct? We are all descendants from immigrants aren't we? We committed genocide on the original peoples of this country so we could have this country for ourselves, right and to let others come in? So why have laws limiting the number of folks that want to come over? Open our borders right away. Give everyone instructions on how to apply for jobs, how to receive welfare and unemployment benefits, etc., etc. Come one, come all. Let's do what the other countries do-they welcome and let anyone that wants to immigrate, right? They don't turn down people who want to live in their countries, right? Other governments accommodate those that can't speak their language by making sure they all speak English, Spanish, Arabic, etc., etc., right? Come folks, what's wrong with you? Didn't my dad who served in the military for 30 years sacrifce his life and die from Agent Orange so that, for example, Vietnamese could come over and become US citizens? Didn't I serve for 21 years and so that the Muslim Brotherhood is welcome and supported by our Coward-in Chief? (oops, I meant Commander-in-Chief) What's wrong with you people, we need to let the flood gates open and we need to vote to change our country's designation from America to Amerikastan!

    November 13, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. Robert N. constant

    The Hispanic community has ample proof that the Republican Party is against them. From the ethnic profiling in Arizona to the current Republican anti immigration actions in the House of Representatives, it is clear what is going on. Pushing a few Judas goats like Rubio and Cruz in front of the TV cameras will not change this.
    Generations of Hispanic Americans will NEVER vote for Republicans again. They have chosen to be ruled by the ethnic and racial hate mongers in their base. Let us NEVER forget.

    November 13, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. WEEDY

    Is there time for something about jobs? perhaps tax reform?? or is there only time left to vote to defund the ACA a few more times? Is there simply nowhere that can be found to work towards something useful with the time at hand? You do not currently have the votes to field dress the ACA so please go do something positive for Americans till you do.

    November 13, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  19. Rojer

    Please don't forget we have a budget to deal with in the next 3 month so buckle up folks the wind is blowing very moderately.

    November 13, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. Primal 4 Life

    Good. Amnesty is wrong and just plain stupid.

    November 13, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. GMR

    Sorry for the grammatical errors/mispellings. Thinking faster than I can type. Anyway, I know I'm going to take hits from some but who gives a care? Freedom of speech and thought, right?

    November 13, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. L

    @ "Sanity Rules" You say we should just give the Dems everything they want just so we are not negative. 15 days left in this year and wanting to wait till next year + wanting to iron out a deal piece by piece is not responsible? So we should just throw it together and read it later, like Obama care. Get real.

    @ "Why Doyouneed2know" – you are 100% correct.

    November 13, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. herchato

    Will the GOP ever get off their scorched earth approach?

    November 13, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Leslie Griffith

    This is getting so old. More "no" nothing, do nothing Boehner, he and Alec Baldwin should form a duo, how about the Cry Babies?

    November 13, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  25. mainesrd

    Any immigration reform should start with Aliens returning to their native country and applying for legal status – just like everyone else has to do now.

    November 13, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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