In what appears to have been a planned announcement, House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) told reporters Thursday that immigration reform is “absolutely not” dead in the House, and reiterated his commitment to addressing the issue “one step at a time.”
“Is immigration reform dead? Absolutely not,” Boehner (R-Ohio) said during his weekly Capitol press conference. “I’ve made clear going back to the day after the last election in 2012 that it’s time for Congress to deal with this issue. I believe that Congress needs to deal with this issue. . . .”
Boehner has spoken frankly of the difficulty in moving the contentious proposals through the Republican House, but he made a point of mentioning immigration at the outset of the press conference on Thursday.
He said he was “encouraged” by Obama’s comments on Tuesday that he would be open to several individual immigration bills as opposed to one comprehensive measure, as long as those pieces addressed all aspects of reform.
“The American people are skeptical of big, comprehensive bills, and they should be,” Boehner said. “The only way to make sure immigration reform works this time is to address these complicated issues one step at a time.”
Prior to the announcement, Politico’s Seung Min Kim reported that Boehner’s office had urged members of the Hispanic media to attend the weekly press conference.