Immigration Overhaul Languishes; Not Boehner’s Top Priority
House Speaker John A. Boehner said Sunday that fixing the nation’s fiscal problems, not its immigration laws, was his top priority, as the most comprehensive proposal in a generation to overhaul the immigration system languishes in the Republican-controlled House.
Republicans are unlikely to approve any immigration-related bills before they leave Washington at the end of the month for the August recess. Many top GOP leaders, however, believe addressing the issue is vital to the party’s ability to remain relevant among voters, including the growing Latino electorate. And influential business leaders and religious groups aligned with Republicans are prepared to turn up the heat in public campaigns to prod them to act.
Boehner, however, has appeared unswayed by the political momentum behind the bipartisan Senate bill, and even after talking last week with President Obama he instead wants the House to take its time.
The speaker also dismissed critics who have said this Congress has been among the most unproductive in years and defended the House’s decision to hold dozens of votes to repeal the nation’s 2010 healthcare law — bills that are almost certain never to become law.
“We should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws that we repeal,” he said.