Boehner says House won’t hold formal talks on immigration bill

BY newsdesk  November 13, 2013 at 1:43 PM EDT

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Chances for advancing immigration reform this year were stopped short Wednesday when Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the House will not be negotiating the Senate-passed bill, the Associated Press reports.

“The idea that we’re going to take up a 1,300-page bill that no one had ever read, which is what the Senate did, is not going to happen in the House,” Boehner told reporters in a press conference. “And frankly, I’ll make clear: We have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill.” With 68 votes, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan overhaul of the U.S. immigration system in June, creating a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented residents.

Despite attempts by House Republicans to address immigration reform throughout the year, Boehner has long held that the GOP would not take up the Senate-passed measure. The Speaker said Wednesday that he wanted to deal with the issue “in a common-sense, step-by-step way.”

He also did not answer a reporter’s question on whether the House will vote sometime in the last months of the year. GOP Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy said the House would not vote on immigration this year.

Prior to Wednesday’s press conference, two immigration reform advocates approached Boehner as he was eating breakfast at a Capitol Hill diner. Activists with the Fair Immigration Reform Movement pressed for his plans for immigration reform.

Video by Change Nation

“I’m trying to find some way to get this thing done,” Boehner said to the two children of immigrants. “It’s, as you know, not easy — not going to be an easy path forward. But, I’ve made it clear since the day after the election that it’s time to get this done.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi responded to Boehner’s response:

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