House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) reportedly told President Barack Obama that there would be a good chance of passing a comprehensive amnesty bill in the next Congress, which the GOP may control.
On June 24, when Boehner told Obama there would not be a vote on amnesty legislation this year, he reportedly told him “that he believed there was a good chance a comprehensive bill could pass in the next Congress.”
According to a National Journal report, Obama, when meeting with pro-amnesty advocates last week to inform them that he would be pressing ahead with executive actions to ease deportations, said that “Boehner urged him not to press ahead with executive action because that would make legislating more difficult next year.”
Asked about the report, Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, said “Speaker Boehner told the President exactly what he has been telling him: the American people and their elected officials don’t trust him to enforce the law as written. Until that changes, it is going to be difficult to make progress on this issue.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who championed the Senate’s amnesty bill last year, has said Republicans in the Senate would “absolutely” try again to push amnesty legislation, which the Congressional Budget Office determined would lower the wages of American workers, if Republicans win back the Senate.
Boehner has reportedly said he was hell-bent on passing amnesty legislation this year, and Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s top White House adviser, said the White House had “a commitment” from Boehner on amnesty legislation before immediately walking back remarks that may have been lost in translation. Boehner, who has hired Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)’s (R-AZ) top immigration adviser to help him with a bill, denied he ever gave the White House a commitment.
The chances for amnesty legislation this year in Congress may have all but ended when House Speaker Eric Cantor (R-VA) was ousted in a June primary largely because of his support for amnesty legislation. A post-election poll determined that Cantor lost because of immigration and because he was opposed by the Tea Party.
During a Fourth of July naturalization ceremony at the White House, Obama said he would do “everything I can” to get a permanent amnesty bill.
Caroline May contributed to this report.