Face the Nation transcripts July 21, 2013: Boehner and Snyder

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, plus immigration reform, health care and more
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, pl... 47:48

(CBS News) Below is a transcript of "Face the Nation" on July 21, 2013, hosted by CBS News' Bob Schieffer. Guests include: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, Gov. Rick Snyder, R-Mich., Gwen Ifill, Susan Page, David Ignatius, Gerald Seib, Michael Scherer and John Dickerson.

SCHIEFFER: And good morning, again. Well, I went to the Capitol to talk to House Speaker John Boehner on the week that the House had voted for the 39th time to kill or delay the president's health care plan. So with this shaping up at the least productive legislative session in history, I began by asking Speaker Boehner, wasn't it time to get on to something else? "Absolutely not," he told me. Republicans have only begun to fight this plan and won't be satisfied until they kill it.

BOEHNER: The program isn't ready. This is not ready for prime time. This is not good for the country, and we're going to stay at it.

SCHIEFFER: So we can expect more of this.

BOEHNER: Absolutely. You're going to see a lot more of it, and you're going to see bipartisan votes coming out of the House to begin to derail this thing.

SCHIEFFER: Knowing full well that this is going nowhere.

BOEHNER: Well, Bob, I've been around this town for a little while, like you have -- not quite as long -- but around here, never, ever, ever is not usually a good prescription. The senators know, the Democrat senators know that this law's not workable. They know it's not ready. It was Max Baucus, Senate chairman, Democrat chairman of the Finance Committee, who said that this was a train wreck. They know it's a train wreck, so I wouldn't be so quick to suggest that they're never going to take this up. Matter of fact, I would urge Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, put these two bills on the floor of the Senate to delay the employer mandate and to delay the individual mandate, and let's see what happens.

SCHIEFFER: All right, let's talk about the other big issue, and that is immigration. I just want to cut right to the chase here. Will you allow any immigration bill to come to the House floor for a vote if it includes some kind of path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants that are in this country now?

BOEHNER: Bob, we have a broken immigration system. The legal immigration system is broken. We have the problem with 11 million people who are here without documents, 40 percent of whom, by the way, came here as legal immigrants. So we've got a very big problem. And what I've committed is that, one, the House does not like the Senate bill. You know, it's one big massive bill that, in my opinion, doesn't have enough serious triggers to protect our borders.

SCHIEFFER: But would you allow -- getting back to the question I asked--


BOEHNER: (Inaudible).

SCHIEFFER: Would you allow a bill on the floor that provides a path to citizenship?

BOEHNER: Bob, what we're going to do --

SCHIEFFER: -- 11 million people?

BOEHNER: -- what we're going to do in the House, is we're dealing with this in a commonsense, step-by-step approach. We want to deal with this in chunks, chunks that the members can deal with and grapple with and frankly chunks that the American people can get their arms around --

SCHIEFFER: But can I say this --

BOEHNER: -- 1,300-page bills that no one has read.

SCHIEFFER: Are you not going to answer that question?

BOEHNER: It's not about me. This is about -- this is about allowing the House to work its will.

SCHIEFFER: Would you allow that to happen?

BOEHNER: This is about bringing these bills out here in a commonsense way. And I'm not going to predict what's going to be on the floor and what isn't going to be on the floor. Now that's what you're asking me to do. I can't do that, and I don't want to do that. My job in this process is to facilitate a discussion, and to facilitate a process so the American people can see what we're doing and so the members understand that we're dealing with this in a deliberative way.

SCHIEFFER: Do you, Mr. Speaker, yourself, personally, favor a bill that has a path to citizenship for those 11 million?

BOEHNER: Bob, people have been trying to get me to do this since the day after the election.

SCHIEFFER: Well, you're the leader of the Republicans.

BOEHNER: The day after the election I made clear that I thought it was time for our government to deal with this serious problem of immigration.

SCHIEFFER: You actually said you were for a comprehensive bill. BOEHNER: And I believe that we have to deal with it. We have to deal with it in an honest way. It's not about me. It's not about what I want. What I'm -- what I've committed to, when I became Speaker was to a more open and fair process. And as difficult as this issue is, me taking a hard position for or against some of these issues will make it harder for us to get a bill.

SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you this, then, can your party survive without pass something kind of immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship? Senator Lindsey Graham, who is about as conservative as you can get --

BOEHNER: And one of my dear friends.