McCain Backs Boehner on Immigration: House Should ‘Do Whatever They Think is Appropriate’

By Penny Starr | April 30, 2014 | 4:42 PM EDT

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) (AP Photo)

( – When asked by about Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) push for immigration reform in the House, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he has “hope” the House will take up the issue but that GOP representatives should follow their own lead.

On Capitol Hill on Wednesday, asked Sen. McCain, “Speaker Boehner has said we need to do something this year, this session” on immigration, “so what do you hope happens, sir?”

McCain said, “Well, I hope so -- they’ll take up legislation and we can then engage in negotiations with them, go to conference. I mean, the normal legislative process. But they’ve got to pass something. I’m not telling them what they should pass.”

“I want the House to do whatever they think is appropriate and look forward to conferring with them,” McCain said.

McCain was a member of the Gang of Eight in the Senate that drafted the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744), which was passed by that body in June 2013.

That law, if accepted as is by the House, would provide legal status for an estimated 11 million illegal aliens in the United States and eventually provide them with a “pathway to citizenship.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) (AP File Photo)

At a press conference on Tuesday, Boehner said he was trying to “see it there’s a way forward” for immigration reform in the House.

“Listen, we continue to work with our members,” Boehner said. “We all know we have a broken immigration system.”

“And we're going to continue to work with our members and have discussions to see if there's a way forward,” Boehner said. “But the president has to take action himself.”

“He's got to show the American people and show the Congress that he can be trusted to implement the law the way it may be passed,” Boehner said.