On immigration, Boehner told the AP he was ‘‘encouraged’’ by bipartisan efforts to reform the nation’s fractured laws, but wouldn’t say whether he would support a bill that includes a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants. Nor would he commit to a pathway to citizenship for the so-called ‘‘dreamers’’ — young people brought to the U.S illegally.
‘‘I'm not getting myself locked into a corner on what I'm for or what I'm against,’’ he said.
On gun control, Boehner said he would consider measures passed by the Democratic-led Senate, but would not pledge to hold votes on any of Obama’s core principles, including universal background checks for all gun purchasers. The expanded background checks are broadly supported by the public.
While not outright opposing background checks or Obama’s other calls for limiting assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, the speaker said he preferred focusing on the link between mass shootings and mental health issues.
‘‘When you look at all these mass shootings, almost every one of the individuals involved has a history of mental illness. So why don’t we focus in on something real that really can attempt to minimize this problem, as opposed to some quick political fix that gives people a false sense of security,’’ Boehner said. ‘‘There could be some link between mental illness and background checks. there’s a nexus there where you could have some real impact.’’
Despite the sometimes frustrating nature of the job, Boehner says he'll run for Speaker again in two years, assuming Republicans keep control of the House.
‘‘Absolutely. I've got a big job to do and I intend to get it done.’’