Boehner Won't Rule Out ENLIST Act Coming to House Floor

Leadership decided not to allow Denham to offer a citizenship amendment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio said Tuesday that a controversial measure granting citizenship to immigrants who serve in the military could come to the House floor as a stand-alone bill, despite leaders blocking it from being offered as an amendment to a broader defense authorization.  

"There have been discussions about that but no decisions," he told reporters, when asked whether the ENLIST Act would come to the House floor alone.  

Boehner was also asked why leadership, though supportive of the measure in general, decided not to allow Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif. to offer it as an amendment on the House floor.  

"We have supported it in the past but trying to do this on the National Defense Authorization bill seems to be an inappropriate place to do it," Boehner said. When asked whether a broader immigration rewrite, which leadership has long sought, would come up this year, Boehner noted again that House Republicans are awaiting some show of good faith from President Barack Obama to instill trust that he will enforce whatever laws they pass, though the speaker declined to say exactly what he wants to see from the president..  

"I made clear over the last several months that until the president gives us some reason that, some confidence that, we can trust him to implement the immigration reform, we really don’t have much to talk about. The ball’s in the president’s court," he said.