Reid: Boehner will compromise on immigration reform
December 21st, 2013
03:09 PM ET
12 months ago

Reid: Boehner will compromise on immigration reform

Washington (CNN) - He will cave.

Despite his public statements to the contrary, House Speaker John Boehner will meet with Senate leaders to negotiate comprehensive immigration reform in 2014 - at least, Harry Reid says he will.


In an interview with The Hill, the Senate Majority leader says he thinks the Speaker, emboldened against tea party groups, will take the issue up in conference with the Senate.

“I think that John Boehner will conference with the Senate. Why wouldn’t he? He’ll have a lot of pressure from his members now that the election is getting closer,” Reid said.

Reid, D-Nevada, argues that popular support for an immigration deal will push members of Boehner's caucus toward a deal. Boehner, who recently stood up to more conservative elements of his party in supporting the debt deal, will lead the way, according to Reid.

“Some of his members are in very marginal districts where they need to do something on immigration,” Reid said.

All signs from the Speaker's office, however, still say no. Like other Republicans, Boehner has said he favors a piece-by-piece approach.

"I'll make clear we have no intention ever of going to conference on the Senate bill," he said last month, adding, "I want us to deal with this issue, but I want to deal with it in a common-sense, step-by-step way."

The 1200-page Senate bill includes increased border security and patrolling, as well as a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the country illegally.

It is the latter element that has outraged conservatives. Many decried the move as "amnesty," with the backlash so strong that even Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, who authored the Senate bill, moved to support the House's piecemeal approach.

"I think when you try to do anything big in Washington it ends up running into headwinds. Now that's the direction the Senate went. I wanted to influence that process so I got involved in it. But I continue to believe that a series of sequential individual bills is the best way, the ideal way, to reform our immigration system," said Rubio in an interview with CNN anchor Kate Bolduan.

But Reid believes the time is ripe for Boehner to stand up to the conservative elements of his party - and some of the Speaker's recent public statements have convinced Reid that Boehner is ready.

“I was very impressed with his saying, as far as I’m concerned, what was long overdue. The government shutdown, it was being driven by these people he criticized,” said Reid. Boehner accused grassroots conservative groups of "using our members and using the American people for their own goals" at a news conference on December 11.

“I think it’s a hopeful sign that that caucus is not going to be driven off a cliff as much as they were in the past,” Reid said.

Immigration reform has been a top priority of President Barack Obama's second-term agenda, and momentum appears to be growing as outside groups, including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, put pressure on Washington and polling shows continued support.

It remains to be seen what, if any, legislation will make it to the House floor next year, especially as 2014 will start with what looks to be another battle.

–CNN's Conor Finnegan contributed to this report.


Filed under: Harry Reid • Immigration • John Boehner
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Dave B

    Harry Reid is a twit and is one of the reasons this country is in the poor shape it is in. The sooner he leaves/retires/gets thrown out, the better for all of America.

    December 21, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. bdby

    The only way to reduce the illegal immegrants is through the use of time which is on our side and a very high thick wall. The wall will keep the young illegals out and mother time will send the grim reaper to each and everyone of them sooner or later.

    Problem solved.

    December 21, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  3. Carol

    What is tea party about wanting to use common sense and taking things in steps? If this had been done with Obamacare then our people who are being affected with this, actually in the end everyone will be if it stays this way, would be having a Merrier Christmas.

    December 21, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. DaveinIL

    From the same folks who brought you Obamacare comes immigration reform.
    Don't know whether to laugh or cry.

    December 21, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. BostonFred

    If immigration reform meant mandatory E-Verify and an elimination of legal immigration most Americans would support it.

    But the Senate bill doubles legal immigration while we are in a jobs depression and gives amnesty w/o enforcement so the next round of illegals are already on their way.

    No immigration reform for the globalists – they want it because they make more money by suppressing your wages.

    December 21, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. Dave

    Reid is an arrogant brainless waste of human flesh. This idiot has caused more trouble for this nation than you can shake a stick at. He is a royal member of the Obama Team to destroy this nation. Other royal members include Boxer, Palosi, Clinton, Feinstein, and their intimidated followers. The people of Nevada should be ashamed to have him in office representing them. Remember the royal group as they are all multi-millionairs that have no problem spending our money, excluding themselves from the ACA (Obama Care), not reading bills prior to passing them, and pandering to the minorities all the while blocking any voter reform act which would limit all voters to only one vote in the district in which they live with Voter ID cards. You need a picture ID to buy booze, drive, go out of the country, even get a book at the libruary, why not to vote or is that to stupid to ask for?

    December 21, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. Diónysos

    BO mandates that LEGAL Americans need to show proof of insurance or pay a penalty tax.

    At the same time, BO says that forcing ILLEGAL aliens to show proof of citizenship "threatens to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans."

    The Affordable Lawn Care Act is next on BO's agenda for America…

    December 21, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. Dave

    Harry Reid suffers from terminal case of spineless douchbagness and could get lost n a round room.

    December 21, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Vence

    Latinos are the key to win elections from now on. They are the biggest block after the conservative Anglo block. Ironically most Latinos are conservatives in core. Is just that the racists in the GOP don't see it that way and they will keep on losing elections after elections, and that's good enough for me!

    December 21, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. taxedmore

    I am worried about the illegal immigrants pathway to subsidized housing, food stamps, WIC, free school lunches, Medicaid, free cell phones and all the other giveaways that they will qualify for once they are rewarded for breaking the law. And don't forget the nice big cash bonus we will give them every April – the rewards of the EITC and CTC.

    December 21, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. ed dugan

    I sincerley hope Reid is wrong. We don't need one more hispanic in the US. We should get rid of the illegals and pay the rest to go back where they came from. I would gladly see us spend billions if we can get them back to Mexico, Honduras, wherever the hell the came from. They are polutting our country with their awful culture.

    December 21, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. sammy750

    Yah, bent over Boehner while the Tea Party screws you.

    December 21, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. ED1

    Because of people like you (jk) that doesn't have enough sense to blow their nose without blaming someone else.

    A 1.8 trillion bill that Democrats had control of the House and Senate and we didn't have the money and the majority of the voters didn't want it and still doesn't. You might not have heard of that bill it's the one Obama lied thru his teeth to get passed and doesn't work (OBAMACARE). This what a Dictator looks like and we have it right now if you don't think so look around how many more people depend on the Government now than before Obama took office. The Republicans were elected to off to stop the overspending and bring some kind of sense back into the Dictatorship style Government we have now. Spread the wealth to the people who didn't work for it that's your answer to everything I am assuming your a Democrat sound like one anyway.

    December 21, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  14. Tim

    Reid is such a dimwit. He must really hate America to continue to undermine our future as he has been doing.

    December 21, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. rams1956

    Easy solution. Deport, deport , deport. I have no sympathy for the so called dreamers. Your parents came here illegally and knew they would game the rules by having kids born in the U.S.. Go home, stop whining about what you don't get from America and thank god you were able to live here for the time being. You're like an unwanted guest that starts to tell the host that if they're going to have the "privilege" of their company, the host is just going to have to try harder. Go away.

    December 21, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  16. dwayne

    Does this immigration law cover Europeans as well?

    December 21, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. csuresh

    I see so many of you complaining that people coming over the border are taking away jobs from US citizens. The fact is the jobs these guys are doing no American wants to do. Ask any farmer why he does not hire Americans and he will tell you he cannot find any. As always the Republicans are spreading lies about immigration reform. The facts are that a comprehensive immigration law would actually help improve our economy by pumping more money in the market place and in terms of tax revenues. But again what can you expect from Tea Baggers who are intelligently challenged?

    December 21, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. rams1956

    Obama stated that illegal immigrants would NOT be eligible for Obamacare. However, their anchor babies ie. born in the USA, over 7,000,000 would be. The illegals would still get emergency room care. Also, since these illegal immigrants are exempt from Obamacare it makes them a more attractive hire for most employers ie. they don't have to insure them...RIP America almost forgot...the 7,000,000 are being signed up for MedicAid...most states like Illinois funding are already broke...Illinois MedicAid is 2.7 Billion in the red...doctors waiting over 300 days to get paid..and it's getting worse...much much worse. Now...RIP America

    December 21, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  19. rams1956

    When are these articles going to be written correctly. Many "immigrants" do not hesitate to seek health insurance. Possibly many illegal aliens hesitate to seek health insurance. The media and all the liberals in this country do not wish to call people here illegally what they are, illegal aliens. An immigrant is someone who immigrated here legally. A message to any illegal alien reading this post, go ahead and apply for health insurance, absolutely nothing will happen to you. Apply for any and all government assistance you can get , nothing will happen to you other than you will have more money in your pocket and free healthcare. This government couldn't care less who is here , how they got here and they don't mind paying for you. This country is like the wild west when it comes to immigration law, no reason to be afraid there are no laws, sad to say but true.

    December 21, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  20. SixDegrees

    Reid is deliberately trying to scotch any sort of immigration deal, so he can blame failure on the GOP.

    December 21, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  21. Harold Reed

    Take away US veterans, but ILLEGAL immigrants keep theirs... Way to look out for the real American people.

    December 21, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  22. Name

    Harry ried manged to defeat Sharon Angle (nut case) in Nevada. The power went out (in the casino) for 1 hour. When power cam back on (in the casino) the results showed that Harry Ried had a commanding lead, contrary to voters votes. THIS IS FACT Who BUT casinos hire illegals and certInly see the $ returns. HARD CORE VOTER FRAUD

    December 21, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  23. Ray

    And WHY are we cheering that this guy is willing to "bend"??????? I thought we elected people who would work together toward solutions to problems. What we have is ideologues who think "bending" on a solution merits a bunch of roses thrown in their path. The people doing the bending have been the AMERICAN VOTERS who have been bent over by Mitch, Nancy, John and Harry. It is time to bend them over and shove something _______________________

    December 21, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  24. Pat

    Boehner, a RINO, bent over for Obama during the shut down. Next time, Mr Speaker, let the default occur to so as to destroy ObamaKare. BO will blink, but you have to stand tough.

    December 21, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  25. Rob

    One asked how anyone could support Cruz, Rubio, etc.
    Well they weren't wrong on Obamacare now were they? It's a fiasco, Cruz tried to delay it, the dems refused to negotiate, the government closed unnecessilary, and Obamacare became the fiasco predicted. And it's gonna get worse. So why would any one support them?

    Also, on the immigration topic. So what those of you are saying is that the Republicans can't win the Hispanic vote because the democrats support the Hispanics in this country ILLEGALLY?

    Send them all back, send their families back too because most likely they are committing a crime of illegally harboring illegal aliens.

    By the way 7% unemployment means AMERICANS ARE STILL UNEMPLOYED. So we want to allow a bunch of illegals to become legal?
    Yea that's how those Dems will get their votes.
    Load of garbage. Boehner better stand his ground.

    December 21, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
1 2 3 4 5