House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) warned Thursday that House Republicans would not accept the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform proposal in any form, and called Democratic plans to attach it to a short-term border funding bill a “nutso scheme.”
“Instead of addressing the crisis at hand, senate Democrats are talking up some nutso scheme to jam through the Senate immigration bill, even though they know it will never happen,” Boehner told reporters.
“The House will not take up the Senate immigration reform bill, or accept it back from the Senate in any fashion, including in this border bill,” he said. “Nor will we accept any attempt to add other immigration reform issues or anything like it, including the DREAM Act, to the House’s border bill.”
“Any attempt to exploit this crisis and these kids by adding such measures are going to run into a brick wall here in the people’s House,” Boehner added.
Boehner spoke just hours before the House was set to vote on a $659 million border security bill that Democrats say falls far short of the funding needed to deal with the flood of unaccompanied children coming across the southern U.S. border.
The House was also expected to vote on a bill that would prevent President Barack Obama from expanding his deferred deportation program for millions of illegal immigrants. Republicans added a vote on this bill late Wednesday night, after it became clear it was needed to ensure enough GOP support for the funding bill.
If either or both pass, it seems clear the Senate will oppose them, raising the prospect that Congress will take no legislative step to deal with the border before it leaves Thursday afternoon for its scheduled August break.