Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

Boehner Sounds Doubtful on Immigration Overhaul (Updated)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:30 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner suggested Thursday it’s unlikely the House will move forward with an immigration overhaul this year, saying it will be “difficult” to move any legislation thanks to President Barack Obama.

“You all know, for the last 15 months, I’ve talked about the need to get immigration reform done. It’s an important issue in our country that’s been kicked around forever and needs to be dealt with,” Boehner told reporters. “Having said that, we outlined our principles last week to our members — principles that our members, by and large, support.”

And then came the bad news for advocates of an immigration rewrite: “But I’ve never underestimated the difficulty in moving forward this year.”

The Ohio Republican said the reason he’s pushed for a step-by-step approach on immigration is so Congress can build trust with the American public.

“The American people, including many of my members, don’t trust that the reform that we’re talking about will be implemented as intended to be,” Boehner said Thursday.

Boehner said Obama has a proclivity to change how his health care law is implemented, “and it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.”

Update 1:33 p.m.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that despite Boehner’s comments, the administration remains optimistic that an immigration overhaul will become law this year.

When asked about GOP concerns Obama will not enforce the law, Carney touted the president’s increase in border enforcement, including a record number of border patrol agents, while not mentioning the concern many Republicans had when the president bypassed Congress to end deportations of children brought here illegally.

He also suggested the problems are within the GOP — not with Obama.

“I think that the challenges within the Republican Party on this issue are well known and they certainly don’t have anything to do with the president,” Carney said. “But as I noted before, the progress has been significant. I think that there is a genuine recognition among leaders in the Republican Party that this is the right thing to do for our economy. …We’re just going to work steadily on this issue, and we believe that it will get done.”

Steven T. Dennis contributed to this report.

  • Layla

    Why did you waste precious time on this during the retreat? Any party who thinks immigration reform is a priority when millions are jobless needs to be canned in the next election.

    • Wuthie

      Layla, these people are already hear working, making them legal isn’t going to make more people jobless it will only increase the tax base. And they have been trying for years to get rid of them and it hasn’t worked.

      I keep hearing Republicans say unemployment checks keeps millions of people from looking for jobs and now they say immigration reform will keep them from finding a job if they were looking. That’s funny.

  • Raylusk

    Conservatives have perfected the ideology of blame others for their inability to do anything. Now they even are blaming Obama for their inability to do anything on immigration reform. Even though even conservatives admit this reform will grow the economy and shrink the defect further.

    • Layla

      Boehner and GOP leadership are not conservatives, far from it. Conservatives would appreciate the administration and Congress enforcing the laws already on the books.

      How will legalization of illegals help the economy when over 50 million Americans have lost jobs under this administration?

      This one is a no brainer. Vote out ANY politician who puts illegals before Americans.

  • EdKulzer

    Ooooof course. “We can’t legislate… becuz Obama.” Enter sad horns.

    • ggm281

      I know, it is becoming quite cyclical isn’t it. Obama can’t govern becuz GOP House. The GOP house can’t legislate becuz Obama. I’d guess the larger problem is that all bodies have lost the trust of the public!

  • ilogiczz

    I want to write :so and I hope that I will be quite clear,

    immigration law is not implemented this year=losing the election for the party responsible for blocking its.

    immigration law is not implemented this year=losing the election for the party responsible for blocking its.

  • Igor Shafarevich

    An example of the grisly knife violence that accompanies racist illegal aliens:

  • Greenie Beanie

    The 55,000 illegal aliens in US jails during 2003 had been charged with around 700,000 criminal offenses.

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