Sen. Mike Lee said Monday that most House Republicans do in fact want some form of immigration reform passed — just not the all-encompassing legislation approved by the Senate last year.
“I think most members of [House Speaker John A. Boehner’s] Republican conference would be willing and eager to pass some form of immigration reform, but it needs to be broken up, and it needs to be taken step-by-step, one step at a time,” Mr. Lee, Utah Republican, saidMonday on “Fox and Friends.”
Mr. Lee was responding to a question about Mr. Boehner’s lampooning the attitude of some of his colleagues on the issue before a crowd at the Middletown Rotary Club in his home district in Ohio last week.
“Here’s the attitude. ‘Ohhhh. Don’t make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard,’ ” Mr. Boehner said, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. “We get elected to make choices. We get elected to solve problems and it’s remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don’t want to. … They’ll take the path of least resistance.”
The Democrat-led Senate approved a bill last year that would rewrite the country’s immigration laws and provide a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country. The House has refused to take it up, with the GOP saying a more piecemeal approach on items like border security is the right way to go.
“I think the biggest reason why some of his colleagues in the House might feel that way is that they’re being told, look, you’ve got to pass all of this ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bill, all 1,200 pages of it, or you’ve got to pass nothing,” Mr. Lee said.” “People don’t like to be told that because it’s not a good way to go.”