Boehner Promises House Won’t Pass Senate’s Immigration Bill

On Thursday afternoon, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued a joint statement with Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Republican Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte confirming that the House will not accept the comprehensive immigration legislation that advanced by a 13–5 vote in the Senate, but will instead craft its own legislation to pass immigration reform.

During the Senate markup hearings, Boehner stayed out of the immigration fracas, but his statement on Thursday asserted his stance:

The House remains committed to fixing our broken immigration system, but we will not simply take up and accept the bill that is emerging in the Senate if it passes. Rather, through regular order, the House will work its will and produce its own legislation.

One of the ideas that has been floated in the House is a piecemeal approach, but without the consideration of a naturalization pathway, it would not fix the current immigration system. Since only some parts of the bill would ever make it into law, it could create a permanent underclass. Some Republicans like Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) have indicated that comprehensive reform is necessary because there is no line for undocumented immigrants to wait, but legal immigration will allow immigrants to positively contribute to the American economy.