Speaking before the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce today, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said he wants to take up immigration reform legislation in small chunks, starting first with border security. On the question of whether the House will consider legislation this year, Boehner said it depends on whether he can "bring my members along."
"There are some members of my party that just do not want to deal with this," Boehner said. "It’s no secret. But I do believe the vast majority of members of our party do want to deal with this, and they want to deal with this honestly, openly and fairly."
Boehner said if the House moves on immigration reform, it will consider between four and six different small bills, starting with one on border security, over a period of weeks. “When you break them down into smaller chunks,” Boehner said, “you end up with less opposition.” As he has mentioned before, Boehner said the House will not consider the Senate bill or a similar comprehensive measure.
Boehner was asked if a “pathway to citizenship” would be considered. He said he would look to the process people use to obtain citizenship legally by waiting in line for years. “They are the people that I will look to,” Boehner said. “Because whatever it is we agree on has to pass the straight-faced test. How do the people who did this the hard way, how do they feel about the process?”
Boehner again blamed President Obama for Republican resistance, but said “I do think we are getting closer on the policy side, in terms of how to deal with [reform]. The problem we’ve got is the president has to demonstrate that we can trust him.”
Boehner said he was going to run for House speaker again next year and expects to win because he has good relations with his members, even those who disagree with him. On the question of a Republican presidential standard bearer, Boehner said it was too early to pick a lead candidate. But he said, “Jeb Bush is my friend, I think he’s make a great president. And I’ve been nudging him for some time” to run.
Read more in the Washington Examiner.