Reid: Boehner will compromise on immigration reform
December 21st, 2013
03:09 PM ET
4 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. Larry in Houston

    sure the bonehead will compromise CNN, certainly you don't think he's not, would you ? They will need every Vote, come 2016....not sure on 2014, but I'm certain it will be one party, or another, unlike the way it is today, It's been "fractured" not only for the Republican party, but congress is "divided" or "fractured" as well.....Let's see what happens in 2014, whether Obama will get another "shellacking" again, (or will he get on the horn) and see if BOTH Houses be either Dem, or Rep – that's the reason why Obama cannot get anything done...If it's a Republican "sweep" in 2014, Obama just as well go into the "Lame Bird" mode......Just "kick back" & enjoy the W.H. perks....If I was Obama, and if Congress went republican, I would order up a Steak dinner 2 or 3 nights a week, including baby back ribs, Filet mignon, porterhouse & the whole 9 yards....including having the W.H. chefs making a hot fudge sundae & banana splits every night for my kids

    December 22, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. Thomas

    @just saying
    democrats think if they start with this immigration reform train wreck it will distract the entire country from the outgoing and massive destruction of our healthcare system by obamacare. and the last thing i want is some 2400 page bill from the democrats lying about how great the reform will be, if you like your country, you can keep your country, everything will be great and we'll all save money. seriously....the american people will not be conned again by the democrats. the fact is they just saying

    ==========
    just saying and doing nothing !

    I would say the Republican party doesn't give a damn about the average american.

    December 22, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. Hector Slagg

    Uh, Well,
    Back during the Bush Administration when they last tried to get immigration reform passed they couldn't get anywhere. I don't think they can even get a Guest Worker Bill passed. Too many people, the vast majority, Union Democrats, have opposed any bill. SO, dream on if you think any bill has enough support to pass. AND if it does, AND you get a permanent Majority of Democrats running the country, all you have to do is at the huge success of Obama Care to see how that will work. YOU can bite the hand that feeds you but the food will run out all too soon.Then you will find out what real work is about.

    December 22, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. rs

    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…
    ______________
    Gee, wasn't it Mr. Romney who got caught with illegals doing HIS lawn care?

    December 22, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Hector Slagg

    Ya Know,
    Some of you daisy chain clown heads don't realize SOMEBODY has to pay for all these Programs. As that old Louvin Bro's song CASH ON THE BARREL HEAD says, This Old Grey Dog gets Paid to Run. How many of you gonna divvy up he money? You want AMNESTY? Pay for it or shut up.

    December 22, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. California

    Sounds like Reid may be trying to BLACKMAIL him.

    December 22, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    GOP doesn't give darn hoot for you, USA, average, common man in America, they need cheap labor. Time to restrict visas. Deport all illegals, visa overstays, violators.

    December 22, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  8. Name

    Don't worry about us VETS and AMERICAN TAX PAYERS ($330 billion EVERY YEAR ) to NON CITIZENS you just take care of yourself Harry

    December 22, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  9. betterdays

    It would be fun to see Harry powerless in a Senate minority. Imagine the spiteful technical chicanery he would attempt in order to keep bills from passing. It boggles the mind. Here's hoping.

    December 23, 2013 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  10. @RI_Roger

    Harry doesn't get it.....John Boehner works for the American people, not the Democratic Party. The American will call for strengthening of our existing immigration policies and laws, strengthening of our southern border and a review of our citizenship process to modernize it to all qualified immigrants.

    The Senate bill is more about Hispanic path to citizenship because it is the next Democratic voting demographic; that is not fair to the rest of the world wanting to migrate to this country for falling their dream. Americans should read the Senate bill and speak out against advancing this bill. Call your congressperson and say NO to the current bill as drafted.

    December 23, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
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