House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that the Senate’s immigration bill, which is poised to pass later in the afternoon, is still not going anywhere in the House.
“The House is not going to take up and vote on whatever the Senate passes,” the Ohio Republican said flatly at his weekly press conference, before going on to attack the Senate version as too weak on border security.
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Earlier this week the top Senate Democrat, Sen. Harry Reid, had urged Mr. Boehner to consider taking and passing the Senate bill as-is, saying that is one way to do an end-run around House Republicans who oppose giving illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship.
But Mr. Boehner rejected that option, saying the House will instead act on its own bills, which are being written by Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte.
Mr. Boehner also said any bill that comes before the House will have to have the support of a majority of House Republicans — which likely rules out a pathway to citizenship.
Mr. Boehner, in his remarks, specifically mentioned the progress by Mr. Gootlatte and House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul in moving separate bills, which seemed to signal that the speaker is leaning toward the piecemeal approach of immigration legislation, rather than taking up a broad bill as the Senate has done.
“Chairman McCaul has done a good job passing a border security bill, Chairman Goodlatte is doing good work over in the Judiciary Committee, and if immigration reform is going to work, it’s essential that the American people have the confidence that it’s being done correctly,” Mr. Boehner said. “That’s how the House will approach this issue.”