"There's always hope," Boehner said in April. "I did talk to Senator Rubio about his idea, and he gave me some particulars about how this would work. I found it of interest. But the problem with this issue is that we're operating in a very hostile political environment and to deal with a very difficult issue like this I think it would be difficult at best."
Top Republicans, up to and including Mitt Romney, were flummoxed by the White House's immigration announcement last week. Unable to embrace the new policy for fear of angering their conservative base, and unwilling to attack the decision on its merits for fear of further angering immigrant voters, Republicans have resorted to a very narrow critique: By short-circuiting Congress, and putting members in an awkward position, Obama's made achieving a legislative solution more difficult.
That interpretation implies that a legislative solution was possible in absence of Obama's action. Boehner's April comments are a clear reminder that this was not the case.