House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that he will not bring to a vote an immigration reform bill that does not have the support of a majority of his fellow Republican lawmakers.
"I don't see any way of bringing an immigration bill to the floor that doesn't have a majority support of Republicans," he said at a press conference after a closed-door meeting of the House GOP caucus.
Boehner said that he will remain faithful to what is known as the Hastert rule, a measure named for former House Speaker Denny Hastert under which only bills having Republican majority support may be voted on by the full Senate.
The Senate, where Democrats have a majority, is now debating a bipartisan plan for immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
A bipartisan group in the House is working to develop their own proposal.
If each chamber were to pass a reform bill, the separate pieces of legislation would have to be harmonized in order to become law.
A large number of Republicans in the House and Senate oppose an immigration reform bill that includes a path to citizenship without guaranteeing that the border with Mexico will be made almost impermeable.
The House Judiciary Committee began hearings on Tuesday on a Republican bill aimed at increasing the persecution of undocumented immigrants. EFE