White House declares GOP argument 'bogus'

The White House on Monday said it’s “bogus” of House Republicans to argue that distrust of President Obama is standing in the way of enacting immigration reform legislation.

Press secretary Jay Carney said the administration understood and was “even sympathetic to the fact that this is a tough issue for Republicans.”

“But nobody buys that a Republican reluctance to deal with and pass comprehensive immigration reform” is because of Obama, Carney said. "It wasn't the case in 2006. It's not the case now."

ADVERTISEMENT
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) last week said Obama needed "to demonstrate to the American people and my colleagues that he can be trusted to enforce the law as it was written.”

He accused Obama of changing his signature healthcare law "on a whim, whenever he likes" and said that his recent focus on executive actions has alienated lawmakers.

“Now he’s running around the country telling everyone that he’s going to keep acting on his own,” Boehner said “He’s talking about his phone and his pen and he’s feeding more distrust about whether he’s committed to the rule of law. There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce the law. And it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.”

That prompted Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday to suggest starting the law in 2017, after Obama has left office.

"Let's enact the law this year, but simply not let it actually start until 2017, after President Obama's term is over,” Schumer said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

But on Monday, Carney said that the "need for comprehensive immigration reform is stronger every day" and declared that  "the struggles the Republican Party has with this issue have nothing to do with the president."

"When comprehensive immigration reform came up as an issue in 2006, when President George W. Bush was in office, Republicans killed it because of their internal divisions," Carney said. "Do you know how we know that? Because John Boehner said so on the record."