Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Boehner Walks Back Immigration Comments (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:26 p.m. | John A. Boehner in a closed-door meeting with Republicans Tuesday morning apologized for comments over the recess that some in the GOP Conference perceived as mocking opponents of comprehensive immigration overhaul — and the speaker reassured lawmakers there is no conspiracy to bring up such a bill over their objections.

Boehner said he meant to make a joke, but not at his members’ expense, when he flippantly noted at a Rotary Club meeting in his district last week that some Republicans are reluctant to consider an immigration rewrite.

At a press conference after the meeting, Boehner told reporters the same thing.

“There was no mocking,” Boehner said. “Listen, you all know me. You tease the ones you love. But some people misunderstood what I had to say. And I wanted to make sure that members understood that the biggest impediment we have in moving immigration reform forward is [the president].

“It’s the truth,” he said, “and our members know the truth. … The president has to take action himself. He’s gotta show the American people and show the Congress he can be trusted to implement the law.”

Boehner also told his members in the Tuesday meeting that there is no “conspiracy” to bring an immigration bill to the House floor despite their objections, and reiterated that under no circumstances would he go to conference with the Senate on their version of an immigration bill, which they passed last year.

Boehner reiterated at the press conference that he is continuing to discuss a path forward on immigration overhaul legislation with his members but wouldn’t lay out specifics of those conversations, or confirm that there was any timeline in place or specific bill, or bills, under consideration.

“We continue to work with our members,” he said. “We all know we have a broken immigration system.”

Later in the day on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was asked by reporters to weigh in on Boehner’s remarks; Reid said it was unclear what his House-side counterpart was implying in his discussion of moving ahead on immigration: “So does he know what he means?”

He added that he was pleased that Boehner was calling out his members on the issue.

“I’m glad he’s complaining about his members for a change,” Reid said, “and I don’t have to.”

Humberto Sanchez contributed to this report.


Related stories:

Video Shows Boehner Mocking Colleagues on Immigration

Where Do House Republicans Stand on Immigration Principles? (Updated Whip Count)

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  • melanie faulkner

    Secure the border and enforce the laws we have, stop anchor babies and the problem is fixed. How stupid are you republicans and democrats not to know this is what the people want? They must be getting their pockets lined deeply to keep pushing amnesty for illegal law breaking invaders.

  • Brenda Huddleston

    We have gone so far over the line, that breaking unpopular (to Dems) law seems normal to some people. Bring back the law in the country, and not just when it is convenient.

  • Layla

    Joking? The Speaker of the House was joking? What next, a “selfie” for our amusement?

    As I said, it is more than important than ever now to get everyone to the polls in November. Removing those who would force laws upon us that are not Constitutional and those who would use excessive force on American citizens is more important than ever. This is about preserving our country and our Constitutional freedoms.

    On the contrary, Mr. Boenher, it is our Congress which is broken.

    • Jeronimo Dan

      Wonder if the voter’s in Ohio realize just how useless Boehner is?

    • wandrako

      Dishonest with GOP voters. You have no idea what is true. He was kidding when he sneared at the House members, he is and he isn’t pushing for amnesty. Then the woman from WA state says that we won’t get rid of Obamacare and the next thing you know she is saying no, she didn’t mean that! Well, I bet she did or another lie. Different tales for different groups.

  • docb

    Too bad..Boneher was telling the truth!

  • BoehnerNeedsToGo

    Amnesty is a weapon of mass destruction aimed at traditional America. The left wants to bring in the uneducated, poor, non-english speaking Mexican underclass to fundamentally change America forever. America will never be the same if they get their shamnesty or pathway to citizenship or whatever else they’re calling the attempt to impose a one-party state on our beloved Republic.

    • pragmatizm

      Impose a one party state? Oh, you mean like how Republicans in the red states are changing voting requirements to make it harder for people who tend to lean Democrat to vote?

      • Penny

        Are you suggesting that Democrats are too stupid to acquire photo identification for other purposes in their lives–even free photos paid by the all 50 states? Attending a NAACP convention, for ex., or boarding an airplane, etc., etc.?

        I’m sick of the cheapening of U.S. citizenship by rewarding lawbreakers (illegal aliens). I’m sick of politicians turning their backs on American citizens who are unemployed because cheaper labor abounds with unethical employers who hire illegal aliens to pad their own profits. I’m sick of LaRaza promoting lawslessness to the calls of race-baiters in both parties.

        Come Nov. 4, 2014, we’ll show these amnesty lovers the door.

  • educatingtoolsandfools

    Until Boehner’s congress holds Lerner in contempt, his credibility is zero.

    • wandrako

      Slap her butt in jail. Take away her big retirement. She got a $40,000 reward last year for her great job of lying and doing the conservative Republicans in. She doesn’t need retirement when she has been getting awards every year of such huge amounts.

  • Nicholas Georgianis

    Moe John & Curly!

    • Layla

      Reid and Pelosi should have been included.

      • Nicholas Georgianis

        Next time Layla..won’t forget

  • Nicholas Georgianis

    Is this man for real. John you are not in Kansas anymore. We wont forget to vote you out in November!

  • Jeronimo Dan

    Deport and secure the borders and then we can talk. Simple.

  • Disgruntled2012

    Eff you, Boehner!


  • Liberius Lucanus

    Do not do not do not trust him or anyone else in that party at all, he will say what ever it takes to get his way and he will turn around and say he did not mean it. He is a liar in my opinion and say what ever is necessary to get his way. He had house districts redrawn and had pro Constitutional house members redrawn in either heavy democrat house districts or against establishment RINO’s and supported the RINO’s while the true American’s were thrown to the dogs.
    Do not ever trust a word he says PERIOD.

  • Prorkba

    John Boehner’s war on America must be stopped. His recent hate speech directed at those who would question the wisdom of a Boehner amnesty is much, much, much worse than what has had so much media attention recently, Sterling’s rant. Boehner needs to be removed along with his other hate-America cronies, like Cantor.

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