Boehner evades leadership on immigration bill

House Speaker John Boehner: "What, me lead?" (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

House Speaker John Boehner: “What, me lead?” (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Speaker of the House John Boehner, the House of Representatives “leader” who refuses to lead, avoided taking a stand again Sunday by refusing to stake out a position on the controversial immigration bill.

While the Democratic-led Senate managed, somehow, to pass a comprehensive, and some say sweeping, bipartisan immigration bill that provides, among other things, a road to citizenship, Boehner refuses to say if he supports or opposes that path in the bill now before the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

“If I come out and say ‘I’m for this and I’m for that, all I’m doing is making my job harder,” Boehner said on CBS television’s “Face the Nation” Sunday.

Critics say such an attitude is just another way Boehner is avoiding doing his job.

“It is a Speaker’s job to lead, to take a stand and to provide leadership,” Republican political operative John Westerman told Capitol Hill Blue after Boehner’s avoidance of a position.  “If he thinks it is hard to lead, then he shouldn’t be Speaker of the House.”

Those close to the Speaker say he is becoming more and more erratic and less willing to either focus on or deal with the important and complex issues facing the House.

“His only goal is to repeal Obamacare and he could care less about immigration or other key issues,” grumbles one aide.

Boehner has led more than one vote to repeal the health care law known as Obamacare but each and every effort has fallen short in the Senate.

Boehner said the comprehensive Senate will will not pass the House because Republicans consider granting citizenship to immigrants is nothing more than an amnesty program.

Instead, he said, Republicans will tackle immigration ins “small chunks” and concentrate tightening control of American borders and making it more difficult for immigrants to become citizens.

That, he claims, is listening to the will of the American people.

But Boehner’s claims fly in the face of polls which say most Americans support a path towards citizenship for immigrants, including illegal aliens.

Boehner, however, has made it clear on more than one occasion that it his job to listen to his party, not the Americans he was elected to represent.

The right-wing that controls the GOP, he says, knows better than voters what is best for America.

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