WASHINGTON – The House will not vote on the Senate immigration reform bill, Speaker John Boehner reiterated for the umpteenth time on Monday.
“I’ve made it clear, and I’ll make it clear again: the House is not going to take up the Senate bill. The House is going to do its own job in developing an immigration bill,” Ohio Republican Boehner said at a press conference Monday afternoon.
The comment came in response to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s prediction on the floor Monday afternoon that Boehner would ultimately take up the Senate bill.
“Eventually he’ll be forced to take up the bill that we passed here, or the country will be left with no immigration reform at all,” Reid said, attacking Boehner for a string of “recent shortsighted failures” in getting bills passed – notably the farm bill, which unexpectedly failed.
The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill before leaving for Fourth of July recess that includes a path to legalization for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States. It also requires increased border security, but the border security provisions fall short of what many Republicans would like.
On Wednesday, House Republicans will meet to discuss how they will move forward on immigration reform now that the Senate has passed a bill and the ball is in their court. The result is expected to focus far more heavily on border security.
“It’s real clear from everything that I’ve seen and read over the past couple weeks that the American people expect that we’ll have strong border security in place before we begin the process of legalizing and fixing our legal immigration system,” Boehner said.
Boehner made clear that while the House would not pass the Senate bill, he did plan to tackle the issue of immigration.
“We have a broken immigration system…we just can’t turn a blind eye to this problem and believe it will go away,” he said.
“I believe this House has a job to do, and we will do our job,” he said.