Reality Check for Republicans: The GOP Had Over a Year to Act on Immigration, Yet Did Absolutely Nothing

immigrant-children-1The date was June 27, 2013 when the United States Senate overwhelmingly passed a major bipartisan piece of legislation 68-32 that would have completely overhauled our immigration policies.


At the time, both Republicans and Democrats celebrated the passage of this bill because it was one of the few major pieces of bipartisan legislation where both sides came together and actually got something accomplished.

“The bipartisan bill that passed today was a compromise,” President Obama said at the time. “By definition, nobody got everything they wanted. Not Democrats. Not Republicans. Not me. But the Senate bill is consistent with the key principles for commonsense reform that I – and many others – have repeatedly laid out.”

We were on the precipice of our government, after years where it seemed like neither side could work together on anything, finally coming together on a major piece of bipartisan legislation that the president would sign into law.

All we needed was the House of Representatives to vote on it (where most experts believed there were enough Republicans who would vote with Democrats to pass the bill) and we would have passed comprehensive immigration reform.

But that’s the problem, because Speaker of the House John Boehner wouldn’t even let the bill come up for a vote. Knowing it would probably pass, his only option for killing it was to simply not allow the House to vote on it at all.

In other words, the reason why we don’t have congressional approved immigration reform right now is because John Boehner refused to let the House of Representatives vote on a bipartisan Senate bill that the president would have signed into law – because he knew it would pass if he allowed it to come up for a vote.

Last November, almost 5 months after the Senate passed their bipartisan immigration bill, Boehner said, “We’ve made it clear that we’re going to move on a common-sense, step-by-step approach in terms of how we deal with immigration. The idea that we’re going to take up a 1,300-page bill that no one had ever read, which is what the Senate did, is not going to happen in the House. And frankly, I’ll make clear we have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill.”

A year later, the House has done absolutely nothing in regards to addressing immigration.


So, here we had a bill that both Democrats and Republicans passed in the Senate with an overwhelming majority, a bill the president said he would sign, yet John Boehner flat-out refused to let the House vote on it and has done nothing in the House to even attempt to work on any kind of possible immigration reform.

And now he’s throwing a hissy fit because almost a year and a half after he refused to allow the House to vote on a bipartisan immigration bill passed by the Senate, Obama is sick and tired of watching the House sit there and do absolutely nothing.

Boehner said last year the House would work toward a “common-sense, step-by-step approach.” And by that I guess he meant that they would do absolutely nothing – because that’s exactly what they’ve done.

The reason why we haven’t passed immigration reform is 100 percent on John Boehner.

And since he likes to go on and on about “listening to the American people,” maybe it’s time he starts listening. Americans overwhelmingly support the immigration bill the Senate passed last year. The same bill Boehner wouldn’t even let the House vote on.

The truth is, the only reason why President Obama has decided to take executive action to do something about immigration is because John Boehner has refused to do anything about it. Either because he lacks the strength of leadership to get something done in the House, or because he’s blatantly refusing to do anything with the hope that it would force Obama’s hand.

Either way, Boehner has had plenty of time to try to get something done and he hasn’t. It’s time for the adults to take over and try to govern this country since House Republicans seem to have no interest in doing so.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Macdoodle

    48% of Americans polled do not want Obama to do this.He is handing the Republicans the White House in 2016.

    • PRIME79

      I thought the President didn’t have to concern himself with around 47 or 48 percent of US citizens. Isn’t that what Romney was telling people?

      • RageFury

        Obama light was a MA Governor, not the best guy to be quoting if you are looking for validation.

    • Jim Bean

      That’s a good point. He is throwing a stink bomb into the last two years of his reign. By 2016, some people will be asking themselves, “If we elect another Dem President, does it mean we get 4/8 more years of this continuous dysfunctional cluster?”

      • kingdiamond

        Or they play a game of payback themselves by not awarding this petulant behavior by awarding their party the Presidency.

    • MidCoast

      Yes, just like passage of the ACA handed the White House to Romney.

      • RageFury

        It did hand the Rs the House in 2010 though and allowed them to keep it through two elections.

      • kingdiamond

        Lot of good that did the country piss filled diapered whining Republicans refusing to pass one single bill do you think voters will forget about that come 2016? The Republican party is toxic to American voters we saw that all too clearly with Obamas destruction of the Mitt in 2014.

      • RageFury

        Your disconnected reality is amusing. The Rs in the House passed plenty, to have them die at the Senate Majority Obstructionist Harry Reid’s (D) feet. O will be seeing them very soon. Now that Reid can no longer shield him.

        But lets see. After 2010, you all said wait until 2012. That came and Rs kept the House regardless of Romney’s failure.

        Then you all said wait until 2014.

        That came and the Rs increased their hold on the House and took the Senate.

        Now we are supposed to wait until 2016. ‘Pardon me if I don’t tremble with anticipation of your impending “take over”.
        Mitt was a clone of Obama and was a poor opponent that several Rs predicted would lose, to no avail. Its cool though. We appreciate your side adding the Gruber vids to our campaign material.

      • RageFury

        As to Romney, he supported most if not all of Obama’s policies and owns Romneycare. He was a pitiful opponent to Obama and Obamacare, a predicted loser by many.

    • kingdiamond

      So 52% approved simple math destroys any thought that Republicans land the presidency in 2016 don’t underestimate the reading capabilities of the American voters Macnoodle.

  • strayaway

    “It’s time for the adults to take over and try to govern this country since House Republicans seem to have no interest in doing so.”

    Code for replacing our constitutional republic with a de facto enabling act overriding the Constitution. There are two issues here. President Obama violating his oath of office and a wholesale assault on the US working and middle class by Democrats and corporatist Republicans. A good place to start immigration reform would be to deport illegal aliens and punish cheating employers profiting from hiring cheaper illegal foreign labor according to existing laws. An even better place to start would be for Democrats to honor their half of the bargain when Reagan provided amnesty in return for still un honored democratic promises. Presidents Bush and Obama ignored existing legislated immigration law to reward their campaign contributors. Bush tried to push through amnesty and cheap foreign labor too. Congress rebuffed him. The Senate passed bill would not only be an attack on working class Americans. It would also undermine middle class jobs. For instance, it would double the number of legal IT aliens allowed to work as indentured servants for Bill Gates who contributed to this legislation while laying off US workers. Welcome to Obama’s post-constitutional Amerika.

  • CobrayRPB

    I’m no fan of Boehner but the Reagan amnesty bill would have been repeated. There were strong border security measures included in Reagan’s bill that were later ignored. The Democrats promise one thing and then ignore key parts of a law later on? Nah…..that never happens ( employer mandate of the ACA and all the other aspects delayed). So now King Putt is saying that if the children don’t get something on his desk soon he will go ahead and act anyway. Even though an overwhelming majority of Americans don’t want this amnesty. By the way the bill passed the senate 68 to 32. I wouldn’t call that overwhelming bipartisan support either. I wonder if the Dems had that super majority how this would turn out? My primary question about amnesty is this, how do the Dems think 5 million extremely low skilled workers will help this country? Again, it comes down to emotion. Liberal’s hearts are in the right place but there is no foresight. Then the other Democrat factions either do everything the party tells them or will do anything as long as it is the opposite of what the Republicans do. Then you have the intellectual “elite” of the left wing who think they know whats best because other Ivy League stooges convinced them they are brilliant too.

  • Eg Kbbs

    Please add a timeline with all those other oopsies.

    Last year about this time the repubs ran commercials on how they considered immigration the top priority for the coming year.

    Repubs did nothing (except block progress) for the next 1/2 year till, when they went on recess, the House Repubs (and specifically Boehner) stated that Obama was going to have to handle it.

    Of course, in the meantime they continuously cried impeachment and then when they recessed they told Boehner to hire a lawyer to sue the president.

    • Jim Bean

      If you want to support your man on this, there is nothing indecent about that. However, afterward, please have the decency not to complain about depressed wages, lack of jobs, dwindling water supplies, and lack of adequate social services. And please have the decency to refrain from attempts to get the people who didn’t support this to foot the bill. You undertook this obligation. Do the right thing and assume personal responsibility for it.

      • MidCoast

        If you are so concerned about dwindling water supplies, get on the green bandwagon. And if you are concerned about depressed wages, start fighting corporate greed.

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    • Mike in VA

      If Obama was so concerned and compassionate why did he wait 6 years?

    • kingdiamond

      My name is Kingdiamond and I approve of this post!

  • Jim Bean

    Reality check for liberals. You had a your guy in the WH and majorities in both chambers for two years and you did nothing. You didn’t because you didn’t want to be held accountable for it. You wanted an angle to somehow shift the negativity onto the Pubs.

    • MidCoast

      The real reason the Republicans won’t pass immigration reform is the base of the Republican party. The leadership of the party – the smart ones, at least – know that if they do what the base wants them to do, they will come up with a really crappy piece of legislation and be caught on tape saying things that will alienate Latino and Asian voters for years to come. So they would rather stall and stomp their feet about executive orders that they forced Obama to take.

      • kingdiamond

        Wish you didn’t post this not under your name because this is the most concise answer to why this entire scenario came to fruition your are very insightful individual whomever you are.

    • kingdiamond

      Trust me no negativity needs to be shifted to Republicans because it just oozes out of their bigoted pores every second of every day.

      • Jim Bean

        That suggests that up till the time Obama became president, you found that Party to be up to your standards. Yes/No?

      • kingdiamond

        Republicans or Democrats which party are you referring to? Republicans are war mongers and bigots and do everything they can to return this country to pre civil rights Democrats on the other hand are just as bad at points Washington as a whole is broken beyond repair as long as lobbyists can buy politicians nothing will ever be done to benefit voters corporations get all those perks .

    • Eddie Harper

      Do you even KNOW why Boehner didn’t bring the senate’s immigration bill up for a vote? Do you?

      • Jim Bean

        Because Harry Reid wouldn’t bring 300+ of their bills up for a vote, perhaps?

      • Eddie Harper

        Actually no. That’s not the reason Boehner gave. This is what Boehner said back in July 2013:
        “I’ve made it clear and I’ll make it clear again, the House does not intend to take up the Senate bill. The House is going to do its own job in developing an immigration bill.”

        They didn’t.

  • Mike in VA

    Obama’s executive action on immigration was described as the “Biggest Win For Immigrants And Their Allies In 25 Years,” but isn’t it a giant slap in the face to immigrants who followed the law and came here through the proper channels?

    • kingdiamond

      Not at all unless your of native American decent quit whining about others desire to live the American dream immigration standards on Ellis island 100 years ago vs 2014 a way more restrictive path to become an American .

    • Eddie Harper

      It’s not amnesty. It just frees them from fear of deportation for up to 3 years. During this time, they can get to the BACK of the line for citizenship. And they can work and pay taxes.

  • Feliks Gailitis

    You liberal, socialist, progressives, or whatever tf you want to call yourselves are truly a collection of idiots!

  • RageFury

    So Boehner basically pulled a Reid, so what. Was another promise made to secure the borders that would again be ignored by Democrats? Was there even a clause in the Senate bill about secured borders? Either way, a dead bill does not give Obama any authority to rewrite Immigration law or any other law. He is authorized latitude in faithfully executing the law, but he is not allowed to rewrite it, repeal it, change it or do as he otherwise pleases. Nobody is above the law. He himself has said he has not this power. This is why talks of defunding and impeachment has come up.
    Far better to wait until the new Congress is seated and everyone is on the same sheet of music. This way if Secured Borders is yet again ignored then the Rs on the hill will have only themselves to blame, when their constituents kick them the heck out. That is assuming O doesn’t veto every bill sent to him because ‘obstructionist’ Rs will hold the House and Senate both. Funny word that, ‘Obstructionist’, it magically only applies to Rs. DOA Reid would never block anything…

  • JWN

    The title of this article is, “Reality Check for Republicans: The GOP Had Over a Year to Act on Immigration, Yet Did Absolutely Nothing”. But Obama had control of the House and Senate in his first two years. He could have passed sweeping immigration legislation and it would have legitimately been the law of the land. Instead HE did nothing. He’s using this immigration issue as a political pawn to take the focus off of his terrible job as our county’s leader. He’s unquestionably the worst president our country has EVER seen.

  • RageFury

    About the overwhelming support, it is not as overwhelming as this article suggests. At least not the version the Senate put forth or Obama would try to do on his own, which as another has said, 48% oppose him doing.

    Most whom I converse with want, secured borders and existing law enforced. If any amnesty is to be discussed, it better involve secure borders first before anything his handed over to anyone. Else we end up like Reagan, millions more illegal aliens with defacto amnesty some 30 odd years later and still no secure borders, while rehashing this BS all over again. A scenario we would all be morons to desire, regardless of party… I don’t expect mass deportations and I certainly don’t expect 12 odd million being able to stay, but lets get real, secured borders should be on everyone’s list or this problem will never go away. Why even have an immigration policy, if every 30 odd years we are just going to grant amnesty? It’s asinine…

  • TripleMoon

    I keep reading about how we need to “secure” our borders. Will someone please tell me exactly what you mean by that? Exactly how do you propose to do that? Have you actually been to any of the border states and seen what our southern border looks like?

  • Bernadette Halloran

    And Macdoodle, doo, where is that statistic from and how did they poll? Like republican pundits do you make up your information. And I am being kind to call it information. You probably get your info from Fox Noise,