Boehner told Obama that a vote on an immigration overhaul will not be coming to the House floor this year, the president said. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Updated 3:43 p.m. | President Barack Obama will not wait any longer for House Republicans to pass an immigration bill, after Speaker John A. Boehner told him he will not allow a vote this year, the president said Monday.
“Last week he informed me that Republicans will continue to block immigration reform at least for the remainder of this year,” Obama said Monday in a Rose Garden statement where he announced he would go it alone on immigration, “without Congress,” as far as he can.
Obama said he believes Boehner when he says he wants to pass an immigration bill, but he hasn’t been able to pass anything despite a year and a half of trying.
“America cannot wait forever for them to act,” Obama said.
Boehner put out a statement blaming Obama for the lack of progress on immigration.
“In our conversation last week, I told the president what I have been telling him for months: the American people and their elected officials don’t trust him to enforce the law as written,” Boehner said. “Until that changes, it is going to be difficult to make progress on this issue. The crisis at our southern border reminds us all of the critical importance of fixing our broken immigration system. It is sad and disappointing that faced with this challenge President Obama won’t work with us, but is instead intent on going it alone with executive orders that can’t and won’t fix these problems.”
Boehner blamed the president’s executive orders for leading to the latest crisis on the border, “giving false hope to children and their families that if they enter the country illegally they will be allowed to stay. The White House claims it will move to return these children to their families in their home countries, yet additional executive action from this president isn’t going to stem the tide of illegal crossings, it’s only going to make them worse.”
But in his remarks, Obama said Republican leaders have “proven again and again” that they are unwilling to stand up to the tea party and back an immigration bill.
“I’m going to continue to reach out to House Republicans in the hope that they deliver a more permanent solution. …Whenever it is they will find me a willing partner,” Obama said. “The only thing I can’t do is stand by and do nothing while waiting for them to get their act together.”
Obama said that the best solution for Republicans worried that he’s taking too many executive actions is to pass a bill. Full story