House Speaker John Boehner told House Republicans today that he expects to release a outline of GOP principles on immigration within weeks. He had announced in November that such guidelines were a prerequisite for bringing any immigration bill to the House floor.
House Republicans in the closed-door meeting told The Washington Post that Boehner discussed immigration in the context of a wide-ranging announcement of his 2014 agenda. He did not specify the details of the immigration outline, however.
Leadership aides say the outline, which is being drafted by House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and other Republicans who work on immigration policy, will focus on “step by step” reforms and border security. One aide said, “There was no talk, at all, about going to conference with the Senate’s comprehensive bill. The speaker and the conference are focused on commonsense reforms and that will be laid out in the principles.”
Asked whether he and the speaker are in agreement on how to move forward, Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., told The Washington Post, “Yes. We want to focus on securing our border and strengthening our visa program. That’s our first priority.”
But Rep. Steve King, R- Iowa, told the Wall Street Journal, “It would be a colossal mistake for us to take up anything that would end up just changing the subject and getting it off Obamacare and on to something that splits the Republican Party.”
Also speaking to The Journal Rep. John Fleming, R-La., said Boehner may run into resistance if he intends to pass legislation that seeks more than border security. “There’s going to be a lot of pushback because we have a president we can’t trust,” he said.