Boehner to House GOP on immigration: ‘We’ll do our own bill’

June 26, 2013

Lest there be any lingering doubt, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) once again told his colleagues Wednesday morning at their weekly closed-door meeting that no matter what the Senate does on immigration reform, the House will act on its own.

"We'll do our own bill, through regular order and it'll be a bill that reflects the will of our majority and the people we represent," Boehner said, according to GOP aides in the room.

During his comments at the weekly meeting of House Republicans, Boehner reminded his colleagues that he, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) had issued a joint statement in May that said "that the House is not going to just take up and vote on whatever the Senate passes," the aides said.

Their joint statement issued May 23 reads: "While we applaud the progress made by our Senate colleagues, there are numerous ways in which the House will approach the issue differently. The House remains committed to fixing our broken immigration system, but we will not simply take up and accept the bill that is emerging in the Senate if it passes. Rather, through regular order, the House will work its will and produce its own legislation."

Senators are scheduled to vote Wednesday to approve a Republican amendment to the immigration bill under consideration that would add 20,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexico border and require the construction of 700 miles of fencing along the southern border. The amendment vote is expected to be followed in the coming days with final passage of the immigration measure, which supporters hope will earn the support of at least 15 Senate Republicans.

But those 15 Republicans represent a minority of the Senate GOP conference -- and comes from states with just 56 Republican House lawmakers.

Follow Ed O'Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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Aaron Blake | June 26, 2013