Monday, November 18, 2013

Boehner: No Negotiations on Immigration

In July, House Speaker John Boehner said that Congress should be judged by "how many laws we repeal." By this do-nothing criteria, it's no surprise that Boehner has ruled out negotiations on immigration reform. It's also no surprise that the nation's largest minority group, Hispanics, have grown increasingly negative toward the GOP. Regardless, Boehner and the House Republicans have adopted an obstructionist stance on one more major issue. One of the reasons Boehner cited is that the bill passed by the Senate is too long to read:

Signaling an end to the push for major immigration legislation this year, Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday ruled out negotiations between the House and the Senate on an expansive immigration overhaul similar to one approved by the Senate with bipartisan support in June.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Boehner said that while House Republicans were working on a “common-sense, step-by-step approach in terms of how we deal with immigration,” they were unwilling to enter into talks with the Senate on a broad bill that would include a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally.

“The idea that we’re going to take up a 1,300-page bill that no one had ever read, which is what the Senate did, is not going to happen in the House,” he said. “And frankly, I’ll make clear we have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill.”

With few legislative days left in 2013 and nearly all the focus on the health care law and House-Senate budget talks, Mr. Boehner said House Republicans had little interest in detouring on to immigration legislation that divides their party. His stance means the immigration fight would be pushed into 2014. If there was to be movement, it would probably have to come earlier in the year before the midterm elections get too close.

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