U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, on his first full day as the head of the people's chamber Friday, told reporters that he won't consider bringing any comprehensive immigration reform bills to the floor while President Barack Obama is in office. The new Republican speaker said the idea of bringing up such legislation under Obama is "ridiculous," according to the Washington Examiner.
This line isn't completely new for Ryan, whose rise to speaker hinged on his willingness to prevent reforms from making it to the House floor. In a closed-door meeting with House Freedom Caucus members -- a group of about 40 ultra-conservative Republican lawmakers who played an important part in pushing former Speaker John Boehner to retire -- before his election, the Wisconsin native promised he would not bring up reforms under Obama's presidency.
"I have long and publicly been opposed to the so-called gang of eight bill, and there will be no comprehensive immigration reform under this president," Ryan told the National Review earlier this week.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) October 29, 2015
The gang of eight bill was an immigration reform proposal that was agreed to by a bipartisan group of eight senators in 2013. The legislation failed in the House.
The White House said Thursday after Ryan was elected that the Obama administration shared a “deep level of disappointment” that there would be no immigration reform before the Democratic president leaves office in January 2017.
Obama has deported record numbers of undocumented immigrants since he took office in what was widely considered a sign of goodwill toward Republicans so that he could later work with them to pass comprehensive immigration reforms.
Instead, the only immigration reforms that he has been able to make while president have been through the power of his executive office. He has granted temporary legal status to millions of younger undocumented immigrants, and attempted to grant that status to their parents; however, that effort has been tied up in federal courts.