John Boehner: House has "no intention" of taking up Senate's immigration reform bill

The speaker of the House says Republicans are opposed to comprehensive rather than piecemeal reform

By Elias Isquith

Published November 13, 2013 4:30PM (EST)

John Boehner                                     (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
John Boehner (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

According to the Huffington Post, Speaker of the House John Boehner told reporters on Wednesday that the House was still interested in taking up immigration reform, but not through the Senate's already-passed comprehensive bill.

"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," Boehner said. "And frankly, I'll make clear: We have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill."

Boehner stressed that the House's decision to take up immigration reform at a leisurely pace was a reflection of the issue's complexity, and not a political calculation designed to keep Obamacare's failures front and center and in the political spotlight.

"This is about trying to do this in a way that the American people and our members can absorb," Boehner said. "There are hundreds of issues involved in dealing with immigration reform. And we've got to deal with these in a common-sense way, where our members understand what we're doing and their constituents understand."

More from the Huffington Post:

Boehner said he is still committed to working on immigration reform.

"Let's understand something: I want us to deal with this issue," he said. "But I want to deal with it in a common-sense, step-by-step way."

Young immigration reform advocates approached Boehner earlier Wednesday as he was eating breakfast to tell their families' stories and ask whether he plans to act on immigration.

"I'm trying to find some way to get this thing done," he said, according to video the group posted to YouTube. "But it’s not easy -- not going to be an easy path forward. But I’ve made it clear since the day after the election that it’s time to get this done."

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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