Boehner on Immigration Reform This Year: 'The Ball Is in the President's Court'

WASHINGTON—Until House Republicans have confidence that President Obama will implement an immigration reform law as Congress passes it, there is not much to discuss House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday. 

“We’ve talked about this literally every week for the last 18 months and I think its clear over the last several months that until the president gives us some reason, some confidence that we can trust him to implement an immigration reform bill we’re really not going to have much to talk about,” Boehner said at a GOP Leadership press conference. "The ball is in the president’s court.”

Last week President Obama’s senior advisor Valerie Jarrett told a Las Vegas gathering that the White House had a “commitment” from Boehner on immigration reform. Boehner’s office disputed Jarrett’s assertion and Jarrett later tweeted that her comment had been “lost in translation.”

“I said Boehner has made commitment to trying, not that he has made commitment to us or time frame,” she tweeted. 

Tuesday, however, Boehner stressed that the House needs to have more convince such a law would be implemented as Congress intends.

“There are a lot of things he could do to demonstrate that we can have more confidence in his administration to implement an immigration reform bill the way we pass it,” Boehner said, but did not list specific ways.

When asked why House Leadership is blocking California Republican Jeff Denham’s ENLIST Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who serve in the military, from the National Defense Authorization bill, Boehner explained that it is “an inappropriate place to do it."

He left the door open, however, for a stand alone vote. 

“There have been discussions about that but no decisions,” Boehner said. 


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