(WASHINGTON) — As the Senate is poised to pass a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws Thursday, Speaker John Boehner renewed his concern about the legislation and issued a sharp reminder about the resistance the measure faces in the House.
“Apparently, some haven’t gotten the message,” Boehner said. “The House is not going to take up and vote on whatever the Senate passes.”
During his weekly news conference at the Capitol, Boehner suggested that the legislation had been rushed through the Senate. His remarks underscored that any momentum from what is expected to be overwhelming Senate approval would be tempered by the Republican-led House.
“Well, I think I made it clear that if we’re going to do this the right way, there ought to be a majority of Democrats and a majority of Republicans in favor of it,” Boehner said.
He added, “All you have to do is look at Obamacare — rammed through the Congress with a bare minimum of votes, signed into law by the president, and the American people are in more opposition to it today than the day it was passed. That is not how we want to deal with immigration.”
The speaker said he believed that Congress should act on rewriting the nation’s immigration laws and securing the border, but he said that members of the House would discuss the contentious issue with their constituents next week and the Republican caucus would meet July 10 to chart a path forward.
“I don’t want to make any predictions on what the outcome of that conversation’s going to be,” Boehner said, “but we’re going to have a conversation and determine a pathway forward.”
When asked whether he personally could support legislation that included a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrations, Boehner demurred.
“You know, me taking a position one way or another somewhere — it’s just going to slow the process down and make it more difficult,” Boehner said. “I’ve got a difficult enough job as it is. I don’t need to make it harder.”
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