Boehner rules out immigration reform this year
November 13th, 2013
01:40 PM ET
9 years 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. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Drive even more Latino voters away from your party, you drunken bum!

    November 13, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. concerned conservative

    Time to throw these Illegal Mexican Takers out ! No Amnesty, Nothing at all but DEPORTATION!!!!!

    November 13, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. R. Stewart

    Destruction and impoverishment of the middle class is the goal of the Right Wing Republicans, and Boehner. They support dangerous isolationism and are destroying our Democracy by eliminating our representative government. I see no reason for keeping any of them in power. In fact, they are a danger to the existance of this nation and to the prosperity of our citizens. We should get rid of them as quickly as possible. Enough have been damaged and enough have died.

    November 13, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. Crashman

    Thanks, Boehner, for once again stating firmly that you refuse to do your job. Don't tire yourself out on those 15 work days over the next 2 months.

    November 13, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. UG

    Just think of the last "comprehensive" reform that was hastily passed by Senate...

    November 13, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @just saying
    will the american people trust the democrats wil immigration 'refrom' as their their healtcare disaster is in full swing?!! no way!!! don't bother us with more of your incompetence and 'reform' that feels more like a royal shafting.

    Will you PLEASE learn to write like an adult, not like a autistic teenager?

    November 13, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    Good job Sen Boehner! I wish other politicians had the backbone to say enough is enough. We went through this very same issue in the late 1980s...what did it get us? A new batch of illegals demanding citizenship. It doesn't work like that. Put your name on the waiting list and wait your turn!!! We are a sovereign country, not Walmart!

    November 13, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. richard miller

    What seems to be lacking is an understanding of what the American people want.What we want is an America that is NOT half latino.We've HAD amnesties,forgiveness,and out and out mockery of our laws.WE DON"T WANT THESE PEOPLE.[period]

    November 13, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. John

    Boehner is an idiot! He doesn't realize how to win the Hispanic vote. I'm getting tired of the GOPs and their "great" ideas. I don't know why he is still Spaker. GOP's are going to self-destruct within the next couple of elections. These guys are a bunch of idiots. It's like one idiot leading a bunch of idiots.

    November 13, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Progresive

    Wow... History lesson: Texas and Cali (I suppose you are talking about California) were Mexican territory until the US took it from them. I guess that would not make any difference, because some people's idea of being an American is "...not being something else..." as if being something else is "less" than being an American! Really messed up.
    I somehow agree with the english-speaking expectation, but not because this is America. After all, the laws in this country do not name any language as the Official language of the US. But I can appreciate frustration over people expecting to live here and refusing to learn the language. That is a far cry from holding Mexicans responsible for the economic debacle that has engulfed this country. I do not recall any Mexican names in Wall Street....And while we are at it, this non-sense hate for Mexicans really shows how out of touch with reality most americans really are: we want to build a fence to keep "them" out, we want to deport "them" all in the name of national security, but I cannot remember any instance when a terrorist came through the mexican border, or had a mexican name. Why doesn't the american public demand the same level of "protection on the Canadian border (where incidentally terrorists have made their way more than once?) Could it be because they are "Taller", "Whiter", "Blonder", and speak "not Spanish"?
    You better get your priorities straight!!!

    November 13, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. William R Sprow

    Sad –sad-sad. Is there anyone in congress that has the guts to tackle a real problem?

    November 13, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. concerned conservative

    Many illegal Mexicans are criminals hiding here from the Mexican Gov. Many are rapists,murderers, PEDOs, Child molesters.......We do not need criminal Mexicans here,deport every single last one of them

    November 13, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. Vitaenverbo

    The HR and Senate need to change now! We need reps that will and know how to compromise! We do not need piece meal as that is too slow and seems not to materialize into law!

    November 13, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Gary

    How about No more Speaker John Boehner? Reminds me of my Dad growing up always saying NO... he was a Negative Republican too

    November 13, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. ladies first

    we do need immigration reform make then realize to be in this country is a privlage Break Rules right back home No Excuses

    November 13, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. sage

    what kind of wood is head made of Mr Speaker of the house??

    November 13, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. Vitaenverbo

    No more words! We want action! I will be voting against you for inaction HR! Also, I will be sending monies to your opponent, because enough is enough!

    November 13, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Pat

    Every time I think Boehner can't get any worse, he does. How he manages to stand without a backbone is beyond me.

    November 13, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. jake

    Obamacare is a distaster. Congress needs to get that right before pondering on to another massive new program passed without any regards to the specifics in the bill. Senators have been quizzed what's in the immigration bill and they do not know. It's another Obamacare disaster waiting to happen.

    November 13, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. Samuel

    What a shame.
    You are elected to solve a problem and immigration is a BIG mess that needs to be fixed. So much for millions of people legally living in US for decades who cannot change jobs, cannot get promoted , cannot buy houses while still paying all the taxes. They will have to wait for 20 more years to get their green cards.

    November 13, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. anarchyist

    Dead to congress! and the politicians.

    November 13, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. JDubba

    Another blunder by Scotch Bingington and serving further to polarize this country into the haves and have nots. Watching the Republicans operate reminds me of Communist Russia...and all the while the preach about your freedoms and the good of the many while stomping on our civil liberties and our future. Pretty disgusting people as a whole, especially their blinded by ignorance supporters.

    November 13, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. mark hensley

    What a surprise.
    The party of "do nothing" does nothing.

    November 13, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. paul reynolds

    Boener showed his true colors – Especially in his SNL video last Saturday, "We Did Stop (the government)"

    November 13, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. Kathy in KC

    Xenophobic idiot. He's so far removed from reality he can't see the end of his nose. It's OK, the American people will eventually find a way to welcome immigrants without his participation. Just like the groundswell of support for LGBT rights, the immigrants will have their day too.

    November 13, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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