Boehner refuses to take stand on key immigration provision

WASHINGTON Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:25pm EDT

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) pauses during remarks to reporters in a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) pauses during remarks to reporters in a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 27, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner refused on Sunday to say whether a comprehensive immigration overhaul should include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, declaring that the House debate is "not about me."

Boehner, appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation," dodged repeated attempts to get him to spell out his personal views on a path to citizenship for up to 11 million illegal immigrants now in the United States, a major point of contention between the House and the Democratic-led Senate.

"It's not about me, it's not about what I want," said Boehner, an Ohio Republican. "This about allowing the House to work its will."

The Senate has passed a sweeping, bipartisan immigration bill that includes a pathway to citizenship, which Republican opponents have called an "amnesty" that would reward lawbreakers and attract more illegal immigrants.

Boehner said taking a personal stand on the issue would make it harder for him to find consensus on immigration in the House.

"If I come out and say, 'I'm for this and I'm for that,' all I'm doing is making my job harder," Boehner said. "My job in this process is to facilitate a discussion and to facilitate a process."

Boehner said the sweeping Senate bill would not pass the House and reiterated that the House would tackle the issue in smaller "chunks" that would include stricter provisions on border protection.

"We want to deal with this in chunks, chunks that the members can deal with and grapple with, and frankly chunks that the American people can get their arms around," he said.

With polls showing public approval of Congress at near record lows, Boehner was asked how he felt to have presided over the least productive and one of the least popular Congresses.

"We should not be judged by how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal," Boehner said.

Republicans have made repeal of President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul one of the party's top priorities.

(Reporting by John Whitesides; Editing by Christopher Wilson)

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Comments (54)
Warof2010 wrote:
Regarding the Ill Effects of Illegal Immigration Reform

The CBO analysis shows that:

average wages of American workers would be lower,
than they otherwise would be
through at least the first 10 years of the law’s enactment.

The unemployment rate would also rise for the first 10 years,
due to a large increase in the labor force.

GDP would increase, but:
the much more important, GDP per capita,
would decrease for a prolonged period of time.

June jobless rates rise in 28 states

360,000 part-time jobs created last month ……….

240,000 full-time jobs lost

Year-to-date: 557,000 part-time jobs have been added,
but only 130,000 full-time jobs…

Employment still hasn’t regained the number reached in
January, 2008 .. 138.056 million employed;
this despite a population increase of 12.5 million.

..Total NonFarm
……Employment .. Pop ……..(in millions)
2008 Jan. 138.056 303.8 HIGH
2010 Feb. 129.320 308.8 LOW
2013 Jun. 135.902 316.2 NOW

Black Unemployment 13.7%; Hispanic Unemployment 9.1%

Illegal Immigrant Employment, as it now exists, within our United States

OFF-THE-BOOKS, there’s a rapidly growing $2+ Trillion Underground Economy in the U.S,, which has doubled in the last four years, heavily populated by illegal immigrants. . S.744 does absolutely nothing to address the Underground Economy. It’s highly doubtful that many would opt for citizenship. They will still be here working off-the-books, and more will come .. More than 12% of our economy is OFF-THE-BOOKs, under the table.

ON-THE-BOOKS, Eight million illegal immigrants are working in, non-agriculture, American jobs, by using false, or stolen SS numbers. Using SS mismatches, DHS knows where these illegal immigrants are working.

Less than 4% of all illegal immigrants, in our United States, are working in agriculture.

Jul 21, 2013 3:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
kafantaris wrote:
“[T]he American people don’t like this mess.”
That’s for sure.
Time for House Speaker John Boehner to go.
For the good of the Country.
For the good of the Republican Party.

Jul 21, 2013 3:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Glaivester wrote:
“The Senate has passed a sweeping, bipartisan immigration bill that includes a pathway to citizenship, which Republican opponents have called an ‘amnesty’ that would reward lawbreakers and attract more illegal immigrants.”

No, the legalization is amnesty. The pathway to citizenship is more than amnesty. I also like the way the article pretends that it is debatable whether or not this is amnesty.

Jul 21, 2013 3:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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