Tags: US | House | GOP | Immigration

Boehner Defends Rejecting Immigration Measure

Image: Boehner Defends Rejecting Immigration Measure

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 02:31 PM


House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday defended a decision by Republican leaders to block a narrow immigration measure pushed by a GOP congressman, possibly shutting down the likeliest area of compromise on the contentious issue.

Boehner said that the national defense bill was not the place for a vote on California Rep. Jeff Denham's measure offering citizenship to immigrants brought illegally to the country as youths who serve in the military. The decision was the latest sign that broader immigration overhaul measures promoted by President Barack Obama and already passed by the Senate will likely die this year in the Republican-led House.

"We have supported it in the past but trying to do this on the national defense authorization bill seems to us be an inappropriate place to do it," Boehner told reporters about Denham's bill. He said there'd been discussions about allowing Denham a stand-alone vote on his bill but no decision has been made.

Despite the opposition from Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Denham planned to push forward with offering his bill, known as the ENLIST Act, as an amendment to the annual defense policy bill during a meeting of the House Rules Committee later Tuesday.

House leaders, who control the Rules Committee, have made clear that Denham's effort will be denied.

Denham said Tuesday that he was surprised by the announcement, and hasn't been given a reason.

"These men and women want to serve the only country that they know. They're willing to put their lives on the line for our freedom. Why wouldn't we have that as part of our national defense authorization bill?" Denham asked at a press conference outside the Capitol, flanked by immigrants who would be helped by the bill.

Denham's bill would allow immigrants who were brought to this country on or before Dec. 31, 2011, and were younger than 15 years old to become legal, permanent residents — the first step toward citizenship — through honorable service in the military.

It was co-sponsored by 50 House members, 26 Democrats and 24 Republicans, but an outspoken minority was opposed. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., had warned that "all hell will break loose" if Denham tried to promote the measure. And Cantor faces a primary opponent in June who's accused him of supporting amnesty.

The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill last year that would boost border security, remake legal worker programs and offer a path to citizenship to the estimated 11.5 million people now living here illegally. The House has not acted on any element of the legislation, and Boehner reiterated his position Tuesday that GOP distrust of Obama is to blame.

"Until the president gives us some reason, some confidence that we can trust him to implement an immigration reform bill, we really don't have much to talk about," Boehner said. "The ball's in the president's court."

Boehner declined to specify any steps Obama could take to regain the GOP's trust.

Despite a wide coalition of business, labor, religious groups, farmers and others pushing for an immigration overhaul, many individual Republican House members who represent largely white districts have been unmoved. That's particularly true in an election year amid concerns about angering core GOP voters.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Rep. Lynn Jenkins: Obama Must Protect College Savings Accounts

Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 10:41 AM

Rep. Lynn Jenkins, in Saturday's GOP address, called on the president to protect college savings accounts, not go throug . . .

ISIS Admits Defeat in Kobani

Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 08:56 AM

Members of the Islamic State group have acknowledged for the first time that they were defeated in the Syrian town of Ko . . .

Texas Gov. Abbott Declaring 'Chris Kyle Day' in Sniper's Honor

Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 08:02 AM

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Friday he would officially declare Feb. 2 Chris Kyle Day in the state, in honor of  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved