A number of congressional observers believe that after experiencing a backlash from many of his rank and file members for cutting "backroom deals" on other issues, Boehner wants time to educate his caucus on immigration reform and gain some buy-in for any bill or set of bills.
Boehner could antagonize many of his members if he decides to move forward with a bill requiring a majority of Democratic votes to pass.
"If the speaker allows a vote on any immigration bill that results in the passage despite a majority of the Republican conference voting against it, then it will be interesting to see if he can muster the votes to get re-elected after the next election," Alabama GOP Rep. Mo Brooks recently told CNN.
4) Immigration is Obama's best shot for big second-term legislative win
Why? Democrats are basically unified on the issue, while Republicans are divided. On Sunday, New Hampshire's Kelly Ayotte became the first GOP senator outside of the "Gang of Eight" to publicly endorse the group's plan.
"This is a thoughtful, bipartisan solution to a tough problem," she said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
Nothing focuses a politician's attention like an election loss, and Republicans were thumped last year by the country's growing Hispanic population.
Latinos backed Obama over Mitt Romney by a 44-point margin. GOP strategists are concerned about the party's long term viability in national elections if that trend is not reversed.
Some congressional conservatives have already said opposing the "Gang of Eight's" plan is a matter of principle and they won't bend.
But others might. This is a rare moment when the two political parties' priorities may overlap enough to make Capitol Hill a productive place.
5) Polls -- what does the public think?
Most national polling conducted over the past few months indicate majority support for an eventual pathway to citizenship, as long as undocumented workers clear a series of hurdles such as paying back taxes and fines. Support for a pathway ranges from nearly 60% to almost 80% of Americans, depending on the poll.
65% of Americans back a pathway to citizenship as long as it requires payment of back taxes and fines, according to a May 30-June 2 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. 77% of Democrats support a pathway under such circumstances, compared to 58% of Republicans and 54% of independents.
People are skeptical, however, about the ability of Congress to get the job done, according to a May 22-28 Quinnipiac University survey. Only 24% of the Quinnipiac poll's respondents believe congressional Democrats and Republicans can work together to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
71% of Americans don't expect enough bipartisan cooperation to pass such legislation, according to the survey.