News

Boehner refuses to take stand on key immigration provision

Boehner refuses to take stand on key immigration provision

Speaker John Boehner refused to say whether an immigration overhaul should include a path to citizenship. Photo: Reuters

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.

Recent Headlines

19 hours ago in Local

UIS Breaks Ground on Student Union

5-4-16 UIS Groundbreaking

Ground has been broken on what is being referred to as the "Living Room" for the students of the University of Illinois Springfield.

20 hours ago in Local

Aeropostale to Close Springfield, Forsyth Stores

aeropostale

Aeropostale files for Chapter 11.

20 hours ago in Local

Social Service Groups Sue Governor for $100M Past Due

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate businessman Bruce Rauner participates in a Republican gubernatorial candidate debate Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. The four Republican gubernatorial candidates said that they’ll be willing to work with unions if elected but differed on how to approach the relationship during a downstate debate that largely focused on pension reform, taxes and just briefly on personal issues that have dogged some of the candidates.

Five dozen social service agencies working without pay for nearly a year because of the Illinois state budget stalemate are suing Gov. Bruce Rauner.

20 hours ago in Local

Trial Set for 2 of 6 Men Accused of Dismembering Woman’s Body

Champaign Police Murder Arrests WAND

Two of the six men charged with dismembering a missing Champaign woman will be held for trial after a judge heard testimony from a detective.

21 hours ago in Local

Death Knell for Graduated Income Tax

tax

Sponsors blame Rauner