Boehner backpedals on immigration reform

Republican Speaker John Boehner announced yesterday that the House will not vote on immigration reform this year. 

Boehner’s announcement took place days after the GOP released its draft “standards” on immigration reform, signaling divisions within the Republican caucus.

“This is an important issue in our country. It’s been kicked around forever, and it needs to be dealt with,” said Boehner (R-Ohio). “But I’ve never underestimated the difficulty in moving forward this year.”

Although the decision to not take up immigration reform was likely motivated by the Republicans’ unwillingness to vote on a controversial issue that could alienate the growing Hispanic voter base during an election year, Boehner tried to cast the blame on President Barack Obama.

“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,” said Boehner, referencing the Obama’s recent announcement of his intention to use executive orders to advance policies ignored by Congress. “He’s running around the country, telling everyone that he’s going to keep acting on his own. Keeps talking about his phone and his pen, and he’s feeding more distrust about whether he’s committed to the rule of law.”

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) dismissed Boehner’s explanation and maintained that there is no reason for the House to delay a vote on immigration reform.

“What we’re supposed to do is legislate and not make up excuses as to why we don’t,” said Pelosi. “We have the votes in the House to pass comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.”

She added, “Just bring it to the floor, let’s have this debate.”

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