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. Brian in DC

    Progressives point to Boehner as the worst speaker of the House yet they fail to remember Pelosi was instrumental in getting Obamacare passed, the worst legislation ever passed. That is far more damaging than anything Boehner has ever done in his lifetime.

    November 13, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. ken2112

    Typical Republicans...If it doesn't benefit them, its not important.

    November 13, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. rs

    Wise Bruce

    Most of the comments so far seem to disaprrove of the speakers position. Unfortunately these views do not represent the majority of Americians in this coutry. Illegal means "Illegal -law breakers" and you don't reward those who break the law. If your stopped for a minor traffic violation and it's discovered you are not in this country illegally, you should be turned over to immigration (ICE) for deportation. If you are arrested for a crime and sentenced,, after you complete that sentence you should be deported.
    Current immigration laws, if enforced, would stop a lot of border and intercity crime by illimating those who comment some of the most violent crimes. It would reduce drug distribution and usage and would reduce slave forced prostitution. But we are not enforcing those laws and states are being handcuffed who do attempt too.
    We need a new administration in Washington. You don't solve a problem like illegal immagration by awarding them amnesty.
    Wise, eh? The immigration laws are being enforced. That is why facts show deportations have NEVER been higher. Meanwhile 76% of those polled want immigration reform: it is good for the economy and good for the deficit. It has passed the Senate, it is just the racists in the GOP TEA Party in the House who refuse to deal with it.

    November 13, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. tlm

    Is anyone surprised by this? The Republican party in the house is continuing to do more of the same....absolutely nothing. We are paying them to do nothing....I think they would call it welfare.

    November 13, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    And there you have it folks. Like Rubio, they were for it before they are now against it. And you wonder why republicans have a 74% disapproval rating. (gallup poll)

    November 13, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Wake up People!

    GOP will reform immigration right after they make a law stating ALL Immigrants MUST vote GOP. Until then, don't hold your breath.

    November 13, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. ken2112

    Republicans...If it doesn't benefit them, its not important.

    November 13, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. blakenaustin

    The only immigration reform that most Americans are seeking is to enforce exist federal immigration laws and to stop opposing border state efforts to secure their borders. Enough of the far left's agenda. It rarely serves the American people.

    November 13, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. art4u2

    The I have no balls to work CONSERVATIVES again refuse to do the heavy lifting debate the bill and vote yea or nay.

    November 13, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. floyd from illinois

    If anyone needed any further proof that Boehner is too much of a coward to stand up to his Party's Tea Party lunatic fringe, this statemet today provides it.

    November 13, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. joe

    What's this? Republicans standing in the way of proposals without offering any substantive fixes themselves? Who would have imagined we'd see the day?

    November 13, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. al

    Big surprise there. Boehner is the king of no, the king of doing nothing and the most worthless Speaker we have had in all modern history. The guy is a spineless loser who needs to be fired.

    November 13, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Libdumb

    Fantastic and the next year and the year after that, etc. Eigher put them in jail or send them back. No different than an American Citizen's being sent to jail for breaking the laws they they have broken.

    November 13, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. CMML

    When Reagan was President he allowed millions of illegals to be naturalized with the promise that the US would invest enough in security to stem the tide of illegals. At that time there were 3 million illegals. Well the illegals got naturalized and the security never happened and now we have between 20-30 million illegals in the country. The Republicans would be foolish to fall for the same mistake again. I have no problem with the proposed naturalization process, the penalties etc. but I do think if we don't stop the flood of illegals coming across the borders we will pay for this forever. Today we are not even enforcing the laws that we have. Create a disincentive for illegals to enter the country and reduce the in flow and then worry about the naturalization process

    November 13, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Dave

    The plan the current administration has to deal with immigration reform would include all illegal aliens to actually start their legal immigration process BEHIND those that are already in line to do it legally. The embattled right wing simpletons are trying to say that Obama is giving them a pass on doing it legally, and that is a lie. Which is typical of these cretins. Just like the Affordable Care Act, they never even read it.

    November 13, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. bob baden

    Hey "Just One" your use of the word lazy could be seen as divisive and racially insensitive. I guess you likely knew that though.

    November 13, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. Arun

    What a joke!! What exactly have the repubes done since they took over in 2011, NOTHING!! They take more time off than the dead and the dead don't even work!!

    November 13, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. Mike davis

    Of course it's off the table. Everything is off the table as long as black Obama is president. Where is the lame stream news media to call him out on this.......stuck on obamacare.

    November 13, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. Steve

    What a surprise from Vodka Eyes! This whole bunch of thugs and misfits can't get booted out fast enough.

    November 13, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. rs


    We have immigration laws? You wouldn't know it, in my area, I will bet 20% of the population doesn't speak English. At some point years ago being in the country illegally stopped being a crime.
    So, in your world not speaking YOUR language makes people illegal? Naturally, you've checked the status on each and every person not speaking English. Not!

    November 13, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. HillClimber

    Is it too late to take action of eliminating the presence of illegal aliens on American land?

    November 13, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Amhed

    I agree with Boehner inmigration is too complicated, and the Sanate Bill is a mess just like ACA I am conservative and my family and I waited more than 10 years in the process, we DID NOT sneek in or took americans jobs and id's, many hipanics in this country ILEGALLY dont deserve a path for citizenship just because they demand it, people should stop bleming the US for this issue is their fault only for not trying to do the right way like my family and I, I am sick and tired to see hispanics just blame the US and still think that their 3rd world countries are the best if you dont like it then just leave, and this come from an Hispanic that migrated LEGALLY that is now grateful and proud to be a US Citizen

    November 13, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. James

    I wonder why the toddler Boehner didn't cry this time.

    November 13, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  24. sammy750

    Wow, Boehner and the House will end the year doing doing in 2013. They are at an approval level of 9%. When will they begin working for the people. Boehner making $235,000 a year and the house members $175,000 and not earn one penny this year. They complain about the people not getting a job and working. These house members just collect an annual pay and do nothing. How can we get a job like that? And many members are millionaire on top of that. One member is worth half a billion, Issa over $400 million. We all need to run and win to become millionaires doing nothing.

    November 13, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  25. Mike davis

    Of course it's off the table. Everything is as long as Obama is president. Sickening.

    November 13, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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