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On Immigration, Boehner Says No to Conference With Democrats, Cantor Says Actually, We’re Waiting on Democrats

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House Republicans’ Strategy on Immigration Is Clear: Do Nothing But Try to Avoid Blame

Washington, DC – When it comes to immigration, it’s become clear that House Republican Leadership’s primary objective is not to pass legislation, but avoid blame.  Earlier this week, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters that while the House GOP is still trying to figure out a way forward on immigration reform, “We have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill.”

Today Boehner’s deputy, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)said on the House floor, “We want to go and get these conference reports out but we have not seen a willingness on the part of the gentleman’s party, this President, to say, we can work together to affect positive immigration reform, not just my way or the highway.”

As Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) tweeted in response, “@SpeakerBoehner & @GOPLeader, we’ve been ready to talk abt #immigrationreform for 6+months. So let’s talk now – any time, any day.”  And as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told Jordan Fabian of Fusion, “If they [the House] pass something we could at least go to conference. We could do something there because in a conference, the American people are watching what we do. The way it is now he does nothing, so there is nothing to watch.”

And as MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin added on twitter, “GOP on immigration looking a lot like GOP on shutdown. “We demand you negotiate with us, but also we don’t know what our position is.”

“The hypocrisy of House Republican leadership on immigration is breathtaking.  One day, Speaker Boehner issues a ‘my way or the highway’ ultimatum, and the next day his deputy accuses Democrats of doing the same.  But the record speaks for itself: Senate Democrats worked with Republicans to pass an immigration bill that was a true compromise; the President invited House Republicans to talk; and House Republicans refuse to negotiate.  Majority Leader Harry Reid called House Republican leadership’s immigration excuses an ‘intellectual yoga drill,’ but now it’s looking more like a game of Twister,” said Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice.

“Message to House Republicans: work with Democrats and schedule a vote on commonsense immigration reform, or be blamed for blocking it.  It’s just that simple,” Tramonte concluded.