WASHINGTON — Speaker of the House John Boehner said Thursday that if the House and Senate went to conference on immigration reform, he would not bring the bill that emerged to the floor unless it had the support of a majority of House Republicans.
House Republicans have expressed great distaste for the comprehensive immigration reform bill set to pass the Senate Thursday. Boehner has said multiple times that he would not bring an immigration reform bill to the floor that did not have a majority of Republican support, as required by the Hastert Rule.
But members of his conference have said they were worried that the Speaker might try to have it both ways: let the House pass an immigration bill preferred by the Republican majority, which would likely emphasize border control and potentially not include a pathway to citizenship, and then go to conference with the Senate and come up with a bill that looks a lot more like the Senate’s version than the House version.
Last week, when asked if he might bring up a conference bill that did not have a support of a majority of Republicans, Boehner responded, according to The Hill, “We’ll see when we get there.”
On Thursday, he gave a more definitive response.
Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Boehner said that to pass “any legislation, including in conference … it would have to be a bill that has the support of a majority of our members.”
“The House is not going to take up and vote on whatever the Senate passes. We’re gonna do our own bill, through regular order, and it’ll be legislation that reflects the will of our majority and the will of the American people,” he said.