House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) vented his frustration on Thursday against members of his own party, who he says are too afraid to take up the issue of immigration reform.
"Here's the attitude. Ohhhh. Don't make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard," Boehner said during a Rotary Club luncheon in his home state, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "We get elected to make choices. We get elected to solve problems and it's remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don't want to … They'll take the path of least resistance."
Congress is unlikely to pass an immigration fix this year, thanks to inaction in the House. The lower chamber hasn’t done much to address the issue since the Senate passed a sweeping bipartisan bill of their own last June. Boehner has taken heat from immigrant-rights activists, who see him as responsible for the gridlock because he is ultimately the one person in the House who could force a vote.
But Boehner has long maintained that he has a sincere desire to bring up immigration reform. For the past few months, he has blamed a lack of trust in President Obama for the inaction, saying Republican members are uneasy about a compromise on the issue. This is one of the first times, however, he’s taken square aim at his Republican colleagues.
The Speaker said he’s worked on the issue for almost a year and a half, even to his political detriment, according to the Enquirer.
"I've had every brick and bat and arrow shot at me over this issue just because I wanted to deal with it. I didn't say it was going to be easy," he said.
Update: Here is video of Boehner's comments.
Jordan Fabian is Fusion's politics editor, writing about campaigns, Congress, immigration, and more. When he's not working, you can find him at the ice rink or at home with his wife, Melissa.