GOP Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) is pushing back against Speaker John Boehner’s remarks this week that a bipartisan immigration accord could come together next year, warning that President Obama is not going to suddenly transform into a trustworthy legislative partner.
“Remember that this is a president that makes up laws on the fly, a president who creates new laws through regulations. He can’t be trusted,” Fleming said in an interview with Breitbart Wednesday. “So there is no way I could support an immigration reform bill unless President Obama basically does an about face in his attitude with the American people and with Congress and that is to abide by the law.”
Tuesday evening during an appearance on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, House Speaker John Boehner explained that when he told Obama in July that the House would likely not move forward with immigration reform next year because of “the flood on the border, and the president’s own pounding his chest about using his phone and his pen” he left the door open for immigration reform next year.
“But I did outline that you know, there’s a possibility that Congress could take this issue up next year. But if that were going to happen, there are things that he should do, and things he should not do as we lead up to this. And I think adhering to the law is a minimum requirement from the President,” Boehner said. “And he ought to be taking actions to better secure our borders. And so I would hope that the President would continue to follow the law, and begin to take steps that would better secure our border. It would create an environment where you could do immigration reform in a responsible way next year.”
According to Fleming, however, as long as lawmakers cannot trust Obama, there is no reason to take on immigration reform.
“I see no evidence whatsoever — in fact on the subject of immigration he keeps promising that as soon as it is politically expedient he’s going to go forward with a large amnesty measure through executive order — and when you have somebody who is as reckless as that, who flouts the law when ever he has an opportunity and even avoids any political stop gap that could occur, then to me that is a danger sign that there is no reason for us to move forward on immigration reform,” he said.
Fleming added that Boehner has not been speaking about immigration reform in meetings with the House Republicans Conference but that he will address it to outsider groups. He speculated that the reason could be that Boehner inherently knows that the House will not move forward with immigration reform under Obama.
“You have to wonder if he is not just trying to keep their hopes alive, realizing on the inside that there is nothing about President Obama that has changed and no reason to think that we can trust him anymore next year than we can today,” Fleming said.
Boehner in recent months has said that the House cannot move forward with immigration reform because lawmakers do not trust that Obama will enforce the law as written.
Fleming added that the border crisis has made it even more unlikely that the House would move forward with immigration reform, creating “a toxic atmosphere.”
“On top of all that chaos I think the conference is even less likely to want to take up immigration reform,” he said.
Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Lou Rep. Barletta also cited concerns with immigration enforcement and the ongoing crisis of unaccompanied minors illegally entering the U.S.
“As long as we continue to see a flood of illegal immigrants crossing our borders and ignoring our laws, there should be no talk at all of amnesty as part of any type of ‘reform,'” Barletta said in an emailed statement to Breitbart News, highlighting a recent report that the government has lost track of thousands of foreign nationals who have overstayed their student visas.
Barletta added that he agrees with Boehner that Obama should to back away from taking executive action on immigration reform, but stressed a need to secure the border.
“I agree with the Speaker that President Obama must adhere to the laws we already have, and put down his pen and phone before he again circumvents Congress and makes new laws all by himself by granting sweeping amnesty to those who have already come to this country illegally.
I will continue to fight for a secure border, and a biometric exit system that will allow us to accurately monitor who has left the country and who has illegally stayed here. At a time when our sworn enemies are threatening to attack us on our own soil, it is our responsibility to protect this nation and stop recklessly exposing our weaknesses for the world to see.”
Meanwhile The Hill reports that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office scoffed at Boehner’s allusions to immigration reform next year telling the Speaker to “get serious.”
“Speaker Boehner has a long history of breaking his promises on immigration,” Pelosi’s office told The Hill.