Speaker John Boehner on Sunday declined to state whether he supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, saying that voicing his personal opinion would make it "harder for us to get a bill."
The Ohio Republican also refused to answer whether he would bring an immigration measure to the floor that includes a citizenship process.
"I can't do that and I don't want to do that. My job in this process is to facilitate a discussion."
He added that there are "certain things" he'd like to see accomplished, but that it's "not going to be about me."
Boehner faces a tough challenge on immigration reform, a major priority for some in the GOP who feel it's necessary to improve the party's image among Hispanics. But many conservative lawamkers in the House oppose measures to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants and want more attention on border enforcement.
The speaker has warned Republican colleagues that failing to reform the immigration system will leave the GOP in a "much weaker position."
The Senate passed a bill in June that included a path to citizenship, but Boehner repeatedly said he will not allow a vote on that measure.
To CBS, he said the Senate bill did not include "enough serious triggers to protect our borders."
Boehner said the House would deal with the immigration issue "in chunks," as opposed to a comprehensive bill.