John Boehner explains teasing Republicans on immigration

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, pauses while responding to questions during a news conference after a Republican House caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington April 29, 2014. REUTERS

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, last week mimicked House Republicans crying over the prospect of tackling immigration reform, but on Tuesday he insisted he wasn't "mocking" them.

"There was no mocking," Boehner told reporters. "You tease the ones you love."

Boehner added that while he teased his colleagues last week, he also made the point "that the biggest impediment we have to immigration reform is that the American people don't trust the president."

To illustrate his point, Boehner noted that the administration has imposed dozens of changes and delays to Obamacare. Before Congress can act on immigration reform, "the president has to take action himself," Boehner said. "He's got to show the American people and show the Congress that he can be trusted to implement the law."

Various House committees have made progress on bills that address various elements of immigration reform, but Boehner has refused to hold a vote on the comprehensive legislation that the Senate passed last year.

"We continue to work with our members, we all know that we have a broken immigration system... We will continue to... see if there's a way forward," the speaker said.

Boehner on Tuesday also addressed the fact that Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., who faces a 20-count indictment from the Justice Department, stepped down Monday night from the House Financial Services Committee. Boehner said he made the "right decision."

However, Boehner was less clear when asked about the fact that Grimm maintains his innocence and insists he'll run for re-election. "I think all members should be held to the highest ethical standard," Boehner said.

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