Republicans discussed their options and decided there was no reason to pass legislation before August.Actually, it's more like John Boehner decided against letting immigration reform come up for a vote because he was afraid doing so would cost him his job. The issue wasn't that it wouldn't pass the House—it's that it would pass, but mainly with Democratic votes. A majority of Republicans would have voted against it, and then next thing they would have done would have been to remove John Boehner from the speaker's office—probably even before President Obama signed the legislation into law.
“There’s no rush on this. There’s no deadline. We want to get this done, and we want to get this done right,” another House leadership aide said.
That's why Boehner hasn't let immigration reform move forward. And that's why the real drama isn't whether the House can pass immigration reform, it's whether John Boehner will ever allow it to pass immigration reform—and, if he does, whether he'll figure out a way to save his job. I wouldn't be surprised if Boehner privately wants to see the Senate bill pass, but his private aspirations don't mean a thing if he can't deliver results.
Perhaps the jam-packed legislative calendar this fall will actually put enough balls in the air to create an opening for immigration reform, in which case Boehner will have pulled off the feat of both getting immigration reform done and keeping his job. But that's a pretty big if, and so far he hasn't been willing to take a personal risk in order to accomplish immigration reform.
One last thing worth noting: If Boehner fails, it won't be entirely accurate to say Republicans refused to address immigration reform, because they have. Earlier this year, they voted nearly unanimously in favor of Steve King's proposal to require President Obama to deport DREAM Act children. And that means that if Republicans don't change course this fall, Steve King really will be the face of Republican immigration policy, not just in tone, but also in substance.