Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

Boehner Says No to Conference With Senate Immigration Bill

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Just when you thought a comprehensive immigration overhaul in the House was dead — yeah, it’s still dead.

Speaker John A. Boehner dashed the hopes of Democrats and advocates of a comprehensive approach on Wednesday, when he appeared to close off the avenue most likely to succeed — going to conference on the Senate’s immigration bill.

“Frankly,” Boehner told reporters, GOP leaders “have no intention of ever going to conference” with the Senate-passed comprehensive immigration overhaul bill, even if Republicans pass a bill of their own.

“We’ve made it clear that we’re going to move on a common sense, step-by-step approach in terms of how we deal with immigration,” the Ohio Republican said. “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.”

While Boehner has long said the House would not address immigration in a broad measure — opting for a piece-by-piece approach instead — he has never publicly stated that the House would not take one of these smaller immigration bills, such as a border security measure, and conference it with the comprehensive Senate bill.

That was the common hope among Democrats and immigration overhaul advocates alike, so much so that Boehner was the target of a TV commercial urging Americans to call his office. The immigration advertisement continues to run in national media markets.

“And smaller markets, like Cincinnati, Ohio,” Boehner noted with a tinge of annoyance at the fact that immigration advocates would run ads against him in his own district’s media market.

Still, Boehner said he remains committed to addressing immigration.

“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, noting that House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., is working with “our members, and frankly across the aisle, developing a set of principles that will help guide us as we deal with this issue.”

Asked whether it would be this year or next year, Boehner was evasive.

“As we develop principles, we’ll figure out how we move ahead,” he said.

Earlier in the day, young immigration activists confronted Boehner at his regular breakfast cafe over his plans for immigration. The liberal activist group Change Nation posted a video of the awkward exchange on YouTube.

  • Maynerd

    A piecemeal approach addressing E-verify, border security, visa tracking would be positive steps forward.

    The Obamacare fiasco has destroyed the credibility and prospects of any new “comprehensive reform” plans.

    • Raylusk

      But the House won’t even vote piecemeal. Boehner said the House would vote on immigration reform this year. Yet there hasn’t been a single immigration reform bill brought forward by Boehner. Sounds like he lied.

      • Layla

        Who’s lying, Ray? How about we respect the wishes of 91 JOBLESS AMERICANS before we bring in millions more? Under the Senate bill, Business will not be required to pay these people for health insurance for several years.

        Whom do you think will be hire?

        Definition of ILLEGAL: Law breaker. No ONE should be considered for citizenship who doesn’t go home and apply for it.

        • Raylusk

          Boehner lied. He said the House will pass legislation on immigration reform this year. Yet he won’t even bring forward the part that deals with Border Security. As for the rest of you rant, it had nothing to do with my comment or the fact that Boehner lied.

          • Maynerd

            Boehner lied is pretty weak tea compared to the “you can keep your insurance” Obamacare fiasco. Democrat partisans will have to do better than that. LOL

        • Mike_Travis

          Layla, Bingo!

      • Anne Mallin

        We have so much division over immigration reform because we have allowed everyone to enter without due diligence and establishing the proper paperwork with a set of fingerprints.
        Even a bus driver here must do that!
        IF we have sponsors for these immigration applicants who desire to become an American citizen , including all family members following, who balk at the idea of scrutiny…….well you had best get used to this process, it is the American way.
        It will take about 15 years to do all the paperwork for people we already have here.
        There is nothing gained by rushing the process and not doing the sequential paperwork.
        As my parents used to say:”Anything worth doing is worth doing well.”
        The process of allowing people to storm the gates is illegal entry. We need our military to stop killing and guarding overseas but here, and employ them to complete the verification process.
        What we are doing now is like putting a blindfold on behind the wheel then pressing on the gas pedal as hard as you can.
        We are crashing and burning as it is.

  • Montesquieu

    As many have noted, “we tend to stumble upon establishments which are the result of human action but are not the result of human design”.

  • Montesquieu

    Certainly, today’s liberalism is impelled by the same death force as its marxist, socialist, and communist ancestors.

  • Mike_Travis

    Hey Bonehead! ANY bill that grants amnesty under ANY conditions is TREASON! Vote for it and your are a traitor who deserves the traitor’s punishment.

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