House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, today dimmed prospects for passing immigration legislation this year, saying that legislation would be difficult to pass while there is doubt about President Obama’s willingness to enforce the law. Boehner said he would consult his caucus about how to proceed and suggested that Obama work with Republicans to pass their priority bills.
In a news conference today, Boehner said, “The American people, including many of my members, do not believe that the [immigration] reform that we're talking about will be implemented as it was intended to be. The President seems to change the health care law on a whim, whenever he likes. Now he's running around the country telling everyone that he's going to keep acting on his own. He keeps talking about his phone and his pen. And he's feeding more distrust about whether he's committed to the rule of law.”
Boehner added, "There's widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws. And it's going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes…I have made clear for 15 months the need for the Congress and the administration to work together on the issue of immigration reform. It needs to get done. I'm going to continue to talk to my members about how to move forward, but the president is going to have to do his part."
In a statement, NumbersUSA Executive Director Roy Beck said, "Speaker Boehner has put his finger on why most Americans would not want him to pursue the mass legalization plan he released last week. Polls repeatedly show that Americans don't trust any president to enforce immigration laws, and that they don't want legalization even considered until after enforcement is fully implemented. The only way Americans can trust that a president will enforce the law is when they see it is happening. At the least, Mr. Boehner should shelve his plan until Mr. Obama is fully enforcing the immigration laws that already are on the books."
Rosemary Jenks, Director of Government Relations for NumbersUSA, said "Unfortunately since we know that since the Republican leadership wants to push amnesty...we can’t trust these declarations."
Boehner’s announcement comes amidst a growing chorus of opposition to the principles he released last week. At a Heritage Foundation event yesterday, two conservative Republicans insisted that the House delay an immigration debate until next year.
"I think it's a mistake for us to have an internal battle in the Republican Party this year about immigration reform," said Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho. "I think when we take back the Senate in 2014 one of the first things we should do next year after we do certain economic issues, I think we should address the immigration issue." Rep. Joe Barton, R-Tex., said "This is not an issue that's ready for prime time to move legislatively."
Breitbart News reports that Boehner's Speakership could be in jeopardy if he moves immigration legislation. “There has been talk among House Members about forcing new leadership elections in the House to include a new Speaker if they try to bring an immigration bill to the floor this year,” a senior staffer told Breitbart. One Republican Member suggested, “It’s going to require blood if this happens.”
See more at Breitbart.