POLITICS
07/23/2013 11:18 am ET Updated Jul 23, 2013

John Boehner: 'Nobody' Has Spent As Much Time On Immigration As Me

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) bristled on Tuesday when asked why he's taken a backseat on immigration reform, insisting he's remained heavily involved in the effort.

"Nobody has spent more time trying to fix a broken immigration system than I have," he told reporters, according to TPM.

"I talked about it the day after the election," he continued, according to the Daily Caller. "And I’ve talked about it a hundred times since. While some may disagree about how we’re going about fixing the broken immigration system, it’s been a big goal of mine."

Boehner has previously said he wants to let the House "work its will" on immigration and that he won't take a position on specific aspects of reform, other than support for border security measures. He has said he backs efforts from GOP members on immigration reform and that he thinks it should pass.

But there haven't been many votes on immigration reform in the House, and for now, a comprehensive approach is unlikely. Boehner has vowed not to take up a broader bill such as the one that passed the Senate last month unless the majority of House Republicans support it, which may not be possible.

The speaker defended his record in general last week when asked about the House's productivity record, which has included a low number of bills actually becoming law.

"That's just total nonsense," he told reporters on Friday. "Now listen, we made clear when we took over, that we weren't going to be doing commemorative legislation on the floor. A lot of changes. In addition to that, most Americans think we have too many laws. And what they want us to do is repeal more of those. So I reject the premise to the question."

House GOP leadership aides went after White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer earlier Tuesday for tweeting out a La Opinion editorial that was highly critical of Republicans' handling of immigration reform, particularly their decision to working on a bill to address young undocumented immigrants without doing anything to legalize their parents.

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