Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) urged their House Republican colleagues to pass immigration reform legislation in a closed-door meeting Wednesday, with the Speaker arguing his conference would be â€œin a much weaker positionâ€ if it failed to act.
A divided House Republican conference met for more than two hours in the basement of the Capitol to begin hashing out a response to the sweeping immigration bill the Senate passed last month.
Boehner spoke at the outset of the meeting and reiterated his pledge that no immigration bill, including a final House-Senate conference report, would come to the floor without the support of a majority of the House GOP. But both he and Ryan, the House budget chief and the GOPâ€™s vice presidential nominee in 2012, made the case that the House GOP should take action on immigration in a way that reflected the partyâ€™s principles, Republicans in the room said.
Boehner â€œsaid weâ€™d be in a much weaker position if we didnâ€™t act,â€ according to Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.). â€œHe clearly wants to act, thinks something needs to get done. Frankly, our principles are probably closer to where the American people are, but itâ€™s incumbent upon us to act.â€
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