Boehner: Senate's Immigration Bill Is Toast

House speaker rules out conference compromise
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2013 4:05 PM CST
Boehner: Senate's Immigration Bill Is Toast
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference following a meeting at the Republican National Committee offices on Capitol Hill, Oct. 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

John Boehner threw a massive bucket of cold water on hopes for comprehensive immigration reform today, saying that the Senate bill was a complete non-starter for the House. "We have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill," Boehner said, NBC News reports. Reform advocates had hoped the House would pass something that could be blended with the bipartisan Senate effort. Conservatives want to instead pass piece-meal legislation improving border security and employment verification, and maybe granting citizenship for immigrants brought in as children.

But Boehner won't say whether he'll even bring votes on those issues. The inaction could prove politically costly. A Republican pollster yesterday released numbers showing that in 20 GOP-controlled swing districts, voters strongly support immigration reform, with 70% backing a path to citizenship, according to US News & World Report. But Republicans probably can't pass anything resembling a path to citizenship without Democratic help, Greg Sargent at the Washington Post predicts, and Democrats won't help if it won't get them to conference. (Read more immigration reform stories.)

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