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218: Boehner: Too Late to Just Repeal Obamacare, GOP Should Tackle Immigration (Video) (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:27 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act make it impossible to repeal the health care law unless Congress has a replacement ready as well.

Speaking at a Rotary Club meeting in his Ohio district, the speaker also mocked members of his own conference for not wanting to address immigration, knocked the tea party or, more specifically, organizations that raise money purporting to represent the tea party and expounded upon the role of money in education, according to a news report from a newspaper near his district.

On health care, Boehner said simply repealing the Affordable Care Act isnt the answer and it would take time to transition to a new system.

Spokesman Brendan Buck downplayed Boehners comments. For four years now, the House Republican position has been repeal-and-replace, he said.

The GOP, however, has taken a number of votes to repeal the law, including bills that would have completely repealed the law without replacing it. The party hasnt unified behind a replacement, let alone voted on one, since Boehner took the speakers gavel. Republicans however have been working to craft such a bill for months. Boehners comments seem to reflect the new reality of the law. With 8 million people having signed up on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, and every state having adapted to the new regulations, repealing the law effective overnight would be messy in the extreme without at least a transition period.

On immigration, Boehner gave his impersonation of the Republican refusal to take on the issue.

Heres the attitude. Ohhhh. Dont make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard, Boehner whined before a luncheon crowd at Browns Run Country Club in Madison Township. We get elected to make choices. We get elected to solve problems and its remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just dont want to. . . . Theyll take the path of least resistance.

Boehner said hes been working for 16 months or 17 months trying to push Congress to deal with an immigration rewrite.

Ive had every brick and bat and arrow shot at me over this issue just because I wanted to deal with it. I didnt say it was going to be easy, he said.

Buck played down the mocking as a form of affection.

As the speaker often says to his colleagues, you only tease the ones you love, he said in an email.

On the tea party, Boehner said he had issues with organizations who purport to represent the tea party.

Heritage Action for America CEO Mike Needham didnt take kindly to Boehners remarks, releasing a statement late Thursday.

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