John Boehner refused to state his position on a pathway to citizenship on Sunday. ((AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin))

Boehner declines to take a position on immigration: “It’s not about me”

House Speaker John Boehner said on Sunday that he believes immigration is a serious problem, although he would not say what aspects of reform he supports.

Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Boehner repeatedly avoided taking a stance on a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

“It’s not about me,” the Republican Speaker said. “It’s not about what I want. What I committed to when I became speaker was to a more open and fair process. And as difficult as this issue is, me taking a hard position for or against some of these issues will make it harder for us to get a bill.”

“If I come out and say, ‘I’m for this and I’m for that,’ all I’m doing is making my job harder,” he added.

Although Boehner did not get specific on his personal immigration views, he did reiterate his claims that he would not allow a vote on the Senate bill because it was not strong enough on border security. He said that the House would take a piecemeal approach to reform rather than passing a sweeping, comprehensive bill.

“What I’ve committed is that one, the House does not like the Senate bill. It’s one big, massive bill that in my opinion doesn’t have enough serious triggers to protect our border,” Boehner said. “My job in this process is to facilitate a discussion and to facilitate a process, so the American people can see what we’re doing and so the members understand that we’re dealing with this in a deliberative way.”

The Speaker also did not appear concerned when asked whether his party would be in trouble with voters if they do not overhaul the immigration system.

“This isn’t about politics and it isn’t about our party. It is about doing the right thing for our country,” he responded.

The nation’s top Republican also was not worried about the record-low productivity on Capitol Hill this year, saying that the House should be judged by how many laws they repeal rather than how many lawmakers enact.

Senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer expressed his incredulity at Boehner’s response, tweeting out: “Did Speaker Boehner really say that the Congress should be judged on the number of laws they repeal not the number they pass?”

While Boehner did not take a stance on a pathway to citizenship, Senator Ted Cruz said on Sunday that he does not believe that a pathway to citizenship is fair.

“I think a path to citizenship for those who are here illegally is profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants who followed the rules,” Cruz said on ABC’s “This Week.” He added that he does not think a bill that includes such a path can pass the House of Representatives.

The Texas Senator, who has established himself as a staunch opponent to immigration reform, said that he believed his fellow senator Marco Rubio acted “in good faith” while advancing reform.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers is planning a three day tour this month in an effort to increase reform’s momentum in the House. Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, and Rep. Luis Gutierrez are all part of the tour.

%d bloggers like this: