During a speech in his home district on Thursday, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) criticized his House Republicans on their intransigence when it comes to comprehensive immigration reform. A bill with bipartisan support passed through the Senate nearly a year ago. However, House Republicans have not moved on it. Many have stated they’d prefer a piecemeal approach to immigration, rather than a comprehensive approach. Others have stated their opposition to the bill because they think it provides ‘amnesty’ to undocumented immigrants.
Per CNN, Boehner mocked his fellow GOP House members while speaking in front of the Middletown Rotary Club. His claim was that House Republicans whine about immigration reform being too hard. He also pointed out that he and others were elected to Congress to solve problems and make choices.
“Here’s the attitude: ‘Ohhhh, don’t make me do this. Ohhhh, this is too hard’…We get elected to make choices. We get elected to solve problems and it’s remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don’t want to. They’ll take the path of least resistance…I’ve had every brick and bat and arrow shot at me over this issue just because I wanted to deal with it. I didn’t say it was going to be easy.”
Obviously, Boehner’s comments received some backlash from those on the right. Heritage Action, which is an affiliate of The Heritage Foundation, released a statement on Thursday evening slamming Boehner over his criticism of his fellow Republicans.
It’s disappointing, but by now not surprising, that the Republican Speaker is attacking conservatives looking to retake the Senate. The Republican Party should be large enough for fact-based policy debates. Unfortunately, John Boehner is more interested in advancing the agenda of high-powered DC special interests than inspiring Americans with a policy vision that allows freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society to flourish.
You have to love a statement from a high-powered DC-area special interest group slamming a politician for being in the pockets of other high-powered DC special interest groups, don’t you? You can’t make things like this up.
Anyway, it seems apparent that Boehner is just plain sick and tired of dealing with conservative political groups and the far-right wing of his own party. The Speaker has already railed against certain conservative groups in the past months. Boehner likely knows that he is probably going to go down as the worst Speaker in Untied States history. At the very least, he’d like at least one positive legislative action with his stamp on it before he hands the gavel over.
Comprehensive immigration reform seems like something, under normal circumstances, he’d be able to get passed. Something he’d be able to point to and claim some credit for. However, these are not normal times. While comprehensive immigration reform polls well with the American people and the Senate has already acted on it, the extremist wing of the Republican Party in the House continues to obstruct any substantial legislative action. And they aren’t going to move on it before the midterms. That much is all but certain.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).