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. Repub insanity

    These useless house republicans need to get the h out ASAP! And 2 weeks left for the year??? We need major changes in our congress as a whole

    November 13, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. Qi

    Who needs hispanic votes anyway....

    November 13, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Sole

    John McCain, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie... even George Bush support #immigrationreform... Just to mention a few republicans. But still, the Speaker of the House won't even take it into consideration. No wonder Boehner's Congress only has 9% approval rate.

    November 13, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. PM Ohio

    No surprise from the Party of No, who will not do anything beneficial for the American people.

    November 13, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. TimeForChange

    Good! We need to focus on spending and budgets and not how we are going to give 11M illegals an advantage over citizens by excluding them from Obamacare for 12 years.

    The DEMS really have the heads in the sand on these latest issues. They need to clamp down on the borders, legalize pot, and get all these folks out of prison on drug related charges. We spend way too much attempting to regulate behavior although most of our population doesn't agree with the drug laws.

    November 13, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. Tony in STL

    Maybe they should just leave now. It's obvious that our current republican led congress will not get anything done this year! They should save some face, prorate their own salaries, ...and just go home!

    November 13, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. chiefgoode7

    Maybe next year or the year after. I don't want them to overwork themselves. They have to work 20 hours a week.

    November 13, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. Mike

    Of course they will not take this on. They have not done one damn thing since they got in. Worst congress I have seen in my fifty six years.

    November 13, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. idb

    Good, immigration reform is dearly needed. The present immigration system has its flaws that need mending. However, there is no need to cater to the wishes of criminals. No legalization of criminals.

    November 13, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. John

    The same kind of promises made with "Comprehensive" health care reform have been made with "comprehensive" immigration reform: Both full of lies and deception. There is no benefit to this bill except for the large corporations that have been lobbying for amnesty and, of course, to the Hispanic community, which comprise over 3/4 of illegal immigrants.

    November 13, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. Tim

    "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.

    Hey John? The American people ARE MORE than ready to "asborb" immigration reform. Don't try to push you are your party's foot dragging off on us. DO THE JOB WE ARE PAYING YOU TO DO!

    November 13, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. CryBabies

    " Remember Obamacare"! The democrats pushed that one through without so much as opening a page to read what was in. it. So excuse us if we feel a little snake bitten about following the dems lead on this. Greta had it right last night when she claimed that every last one of these representatives should be shown the door because of their ineptness and laziness in pushing Obamacare through. Forget the "touchy,feely" politics of so called reform. Enforce the laws on the books and quit tap dancing on soft ice cream.

    November 13, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  13. Rick

    Say goodbye to the Republicans...don't let the house door hit you in the butt on your way out

    November 13, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  14. pbernasc

    there is power in being the asinine who says no

    November 13, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. Randy, San Francisco

    Everything is a crisis and challenge for Speaker Boehner because he has no control over Tea Partiers and extreme conservatives in his caucus. Washington is in a dysfunctional grdlock because a minority within the Republican Partty has no interest in governing or running this country.

    November 13, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. Herb

    I so hope they continue the way they are doing things--assures the Democrats complete control --

    November 13, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. Fry85

    This bill is awful. Here are the facts.
    No back taxes will be paid and they can get waivers on those taxes if they are too poor. There is also no way to tell how much they owe since they work under the table.
    Less than 5% of illegals work in agriculture.
    Our true unemployment rate is 14%. And 90 million Americans are not in the labor pool.
    This will devastate the black community with even higher unemployment rates, which is 50% among young adult males.
    They are allowed to have up to 3 misdemeanors and even 1 "light" felony!
    They ARE eligible for welfare if they are pregnant, single mothers, getting a GED, learning a skill or trade, elderly, etc.
    The chain migration will bring in estimated 44 million low educated immigrants over the next 10 years.
    In 2011 55% of all deportees had a criminal record. Are you sure we want them?
    Obama has not had record deportations. His administration is cooking the books to count the same person twice. When they are caught at the border that is 1. When they are handed to ICE that counts as 1. They count 2 deportations for many of the same immigrants.
    The cost of illegal immigrants is estimated to be around 338-520 billion a year. The CBO Estimates the average income annually for illegals would have to be 150k to put more into the system than they take.
    THIS WILL DEPRESS THE WAGES OF AMERICANS FOR DECADES.
    THIS WILL RAISE UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE COUNTRY.
    1 in 5 people in this country in 10 years will be foreign born, with no loyalty to the country.
    The largest offenders, Mexicans, age of consent is 12 years old. You want them around your middle schoolers?
    Multiple studies claim this will cost the country 6-7 TRILLION over the next 50 years.
    This bill is filled with specialty pork funds for friends of the people that wrote this bill for things that have nothing to do with immigration.
    The E-verify will only apply to companies with 500 employees or more. Less than 3% of businesses.
    All companies who used the labor of illegals get an automatic exemption from any prosecution.
    None of these illegals are eligible for obamacare. Which means companies will have a huge incentive to hire them over citizens as they will not have to provide health insurance to them or pay the fine.
    We will continue to pay the medical bills of the next wave of 44 million.
    Studies show the bill will only stop 20-25% of the illegal immigration flow.
    The next director of Homeland Security can automatically waive all the funding to border patrol when he/she feels the border is "secure enough".
    None of these citizens are required to give up the citizenship of their homelands.
    Nothing in this bill suggests this type of bill will never happen again.
    This does nothing to stem the real problem of people overstaying their visas, vacations, etc. Which is 40% of illegals.
    There is NO REQUIREMENT to learn English. All they have to do is bring a receipt they paid for an English course. No proof they passed or attended the class.
    Our infrastructure cannot handle this next wave of chain migration.

    Anyone who has ever lived in a border state knows what these people do to communities. This is not about republicans or democrats. This is about Americans losing their own country to people who broke the law. My fiancé waited 7 years to get here from Colombia. Her and other immigrants who waited legally are furious about this bill to reward lawbreakers.

    November 13, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. Publius Novus

    Of course the House GOP will not take up comprehensive immigration reform. Most think tanks and analysts believe immigration reform would significantly boost the economy. Any such boost would make the president look good, ergo, there can be no immigration reform.

    November 13, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  19. 86963654

    Well here we go again :
    1. Republicans will never win the 2016 Presidential election. No mattter how hard they campain with the latino voters until they fix this problem.

    November 13, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. SeattleReign

    So basically Boehner's job is to make sure absolutely nothing goes to a vote if it's what the opposition wants. Odd that even George W was behind immigration reform; yet, once again the Tea Party is driving legislation and apparently is driving that sniveling John Boehner who is scared to death he will lose his position in the house. This guy has no substance or moral compass at all.

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

    Is not a surprise to see the Republicans doing this, they have not accomplished anything so far..., they will see the results of their actions next year!

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

    Everything free in America!!!!! The liberal way. You know how to tell when a liberal is losing an arguement? They resort to name calling and have to be louder than everyone else. All you have to do is listen to the "Campaigner In Chief". It is the new way of the government. Crisis management at its best...............

    November 13, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. glaird

    Hardly "Immigration reform".

    1) Grants amnesty to millions of criminal entrants to the US.
    2) Ups the H1-B visa quotas from the current 65k/yr (who displace equal number of American students from American jobs) to over 100K/yr. (Thank Sen. Feinstein for that cute amendment.)
    3) Because of 1 & 2, disallows legitimate refugees access to the US, when they have literally no other place to go and are in jeopardy of their lives.

    November 13, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. health

    Nice knowing your party - not
    Will be nice when you're extinct

    November 13, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    The epitome of a "do nothing" Speaker of the House and House of Representatives. They make at a minimum $174,000 per year to do nothing. It's a good gig if you can get it.

    November 13, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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