By Cristina Marcos - 07/29/14 04:00 PM EDT
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) quickly pushed back against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) suggestion Tuesday that an immigration overhaul could be attached to a $659 million House border bill.
Boehner sought to assuage House conservatives wary of passing an emergency funding package for fear the Senate could send it back with the immigration reform overhaul it passed last year.
“Senator Reid, embarrassed that he cannot strong-arm the Senate into passing the blank check President Obama demanded, is making a deceitful and cynical attempt to derail the House’s common-sense solution,” Boehner said in a statement.
“So let me be as clear as I can be with Senator Reid: the House of Representatives will not take up the Senate immigration reform bill or accept it back from the Senate in any fashion,” Boehner said. “Nor will we accept any attempt to add any other comprehensive immigration reform bill or anything like it, including the DREAM Act, to the House’s targeted legislation, which is meant to fix the actual problems causing the border crisis.”
Boehner said immigration reform should be considered separately from the issue of unaccompanied child minors crossing the border.
“Such measures have no place in the effort to solve this crisis, and any attempt to exploit this crisis by adding such measures will run into a brick wall in the people’s House,” Boehner said.
House GOP leadership is in the process of whipping support for the measure in anticipation of a vote Thursday. Republicans can only afford 17 defections to pass the bill on their own if Democrats oppose it en masse.
Reid has scheduled a possible vote on a $2.7 billion Senate border bill for Wednesday. It does not appear he will have the 60 votes necessary for approval.