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

    And so the GOP sinkhole just keeps getting bigger!

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

    We dont need Illegal Mexicans here let alone reward them for hurting and stealing from the American Worker and Taxpayer......

    November 13, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. henry2016

    The only immigration reform this country need is to secure the borders and enforce selective immigration policy. Will continue to welcome healthy and productive immigrant who is more than willing to accept the American values but deport convicted illegals.

    November 13, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Tom

    Very good news. No need to pass another bill before we read it....

    November 13, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Howie

    Here we go again. More won't do from the Grand Old Party.

    November 13, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. rock woman

    So, ok, here's the plot: Not enough time to do anything this year, sigh, how unfortunate, but next year the Repubs come out ballyhooing their conviction that reform is both essential and mucho desirable, maybe passing a little bitty item to convince us of their sincerity, and promising up the yin-yang to deliver. And here's the goal: To sucker people into believing them so they win in 2014 elections. After which they will conveniently forget/ignore/deny they ever made any such promises.

    November 13, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "The fact that they are in this country illegally means nothing to Democrats."

    Is that why Obama's been setting records for the number of deportations every year? He loves them so much as potential Dem voters that he's doing a better job than any other president at sending them home? Interesting theory. Do you even listen to the sh-t that comes out of your mouths or is it just sort of autopilot once you're released from the Red State/Breitbart/FauxNews/WND/Limbaugh/Beck mind control beams aimed at your tinfoil hats?

    November 13, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. jam8canpops

    This idiot John Boehner is an absolute disgrace.It will be a cold day in hell before his party gets elected for anything meaningful.I guess he never got the memo that his party lost the elections.

    November 13, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. DifrntDrmr

    Aren't these the same House Republicans who were complaining that the Democrats would not negotiate with them over the shutdown?

    November 13, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. Bob

    I still think, we should throw all the bums out!!!!

    November 13, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. steve

    Good job Mr. Boehner. Take control and do what's best for this country. To hell with the stupid dems. They are gone in 2014 anyway.

    November 13, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. bob

    At some point, either the US is going to have to reform itself in a major way, or this nation is going to collapse. I detest politics and politicians, but nations do need governance. The only president that I have any respect for, in my life time, is Dwight Eisenhower. He was intelligent and largely decent, experienced in management, and not a dumb ideology-driven nut case. So, why does it seem nearly impossible, now, to even hope for reasonable governance? Certainly, the educational levels have fallen markedly. Political and kook-religious ideologies appeal primarily to poorly educated and stupid people looking for simplistic frameworks to sign on to. There are also far more people now, and perhaps less chance for any type of consensus. Few Americans seem to understand how to construct rational arguments and engage in meaningful, civil discourse. Many Americans now seem to prefer propaganda to semi-objective news and analysis. Whatever is going on, trash like Boehner, Bush, Palin, Cheney, and so many other immoral, stupid, nut-case kooks is only a symptom. Basically, what was once a great nation is no longer – and any nation is largely the people who make it up.

    November 13, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. valveone

    The KOCH BRO'S Tea Party fanatics have Bohner by the balls. I feel like I'm
    the only Republican conservative left. That's willing to work with the other side for the better of our country. Just imagine how much our country could have grown if the Republican congress had work with the Democrats. And don't even start about the Tea Party fanatics, their compromise is like the KLU KLUX KLAN saying they will use a softer rope.

    November 13, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. billg17

    We can't have the House rush. After all, they haven't done anything in three years. They'd be out of practice trying to produce a bill now. Progressives produce laws. Regressives, I mean Republicans try to vote them down. When the big news headline is "We are not going to accomplish something in this area is just more John Boehner. Maybe a reversal of the score producing jobs, background checks, immigration etc bills -0, votes to repeal an already passed Affordable Healthcare – 47 to Producing meaningful Bills- 47 repealing already passed laws -0 our country would be better off and The house' approval rating might be higher than 9%. Politics has a season and legislative leadership had a season before John Boehner and Lance Prevus. They have changed one thing though: We used to say all politics are local. No all politics are now National. Every vote for a Regressive Congress person is a vote for John Boehner as Speaker. JB is the Speaker for the House, a Government branch of the US Government – not the Regressive party!

    November 13, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. el tigre

    typical republicans now we need to wait another 5 years until next election.

    November 13, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. Tom

    "Just what we need. Another communique from the Republicans proclaiming what they won't do. Sure would be nice to have them announce something they did, or would do, or pronounce a real positive idea.

    We'll never win back the favor of the broader electorate with all of this negative PR campaigning."

    No worries, we have the "Campaigner in Chief" to do all the PR for you lefties.

    November 13, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. MICK

    Libs can't even overhaul healthcare and want to overhaul immigration??? Wow these people are a JOKE!!

    November 13, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Shouldn't they be focusing their attention on the budget?"

    Unfortunately, they have been: focused on refusing 19 times to go to conference with the Senate to pass a compromise budget, focused on making sure they have a government shutdown hostage threat to levy every three months, focused on repeatedly demanding ransom for funding the gov't in hopes it gets them some of their wishlist, and focused on repeatedly using the government shutdown threat manufactured crisis hostage shenanigans to keep damaging the economy's recovery so they can blame it on Obama.

    November 13, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  19. DavidCaganer

    More stalling and sitting back on their laurels. Nice that the Republicans in congress feel so good about doing nothing at the expense of the tax payer. If they were workers in the private sector I'd have fired the whole stinking bunch of them for not keeping up their end of the employment contract. Not to mention they'll be on HOLIDAY recess here shortly. The Repubs have managed to do nothing at all since they took congress in 2010. This must go on record as the worst do nothing congress in the history of our country. Way to Boehner.

    November 13, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  20. Asian

    BURN AMERICA IN HELL. This country has no value for Immigrants who are willing to live lives peacefully.

    November 13, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  21. KRJ9

    In session another 15 days before the end of the year. What do we pay these people for? It just gets worse and worse and worse

    November 13, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. muscrat

    Again and again the "G-No-P".Why not just go home for Christmas...2016.

    November 13, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. Tom

    The right-wing of the republican party is a ticket to disaster for the USA.

    November 13, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. mogran

    I agree with Boehner...now is NOT the time to try to deal with an immigration problem...drop it and get on with something more important like the budget!

    November 13, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. carloooos

    I think the republicans are pretty much dead in the water at this point.

    November 13, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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