House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday reassured fellow Republican lawmakers that he will not push them to pass immigration reform and said he was just teasing last week when he criticized his caucus's reluctance on the issue.
Boehner held a closed-door meeting with Republican House members to cool their anger over remarks he made last Thursday at a Rotary Club luncheon in his Ohio district. In that widely reported speech, Boehner described the attitude of other House Republicans as: "Don't make me do this."
After Tuesday's meeting in Washington to address the issue, Boehner told reporters: "You all know me. You tease the ones you love, but some people misunderstood what I have to say and some members misunderstood."
Some congressional aides and immigration reform advocates viewed Boehner's comments last week as a possible signal of a renewed drive to pass an immigration bill in the House. But Republican House members emerging from Tuesday's meeting said the speaker played down that prospect.
"He actually came out and made some really very strong statements that go against what his comments suggested. Just to reiterate: Number one, we're not going to conference on a Senate immigration bill," Representative John Fleming said.
Boehner has long talked of his interest in getting an immigration bill through Congress to address concerns such as border security. The Senate last year passed a sweeping measure that included a path to citizenship for certain undocumented immigrants. But some House conservatives oppose that measure, which they view as amnesty for lawbreakers.
Some Republicans have suggested the possibility of legalizing some undocumented residents instead of establishing a specific pathway to citizenship. - To read full article, please click here for Reuters website
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