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House GOP leaders say they'll try crafting immigration deal

12 Juin 2018

Normally, the non-incumbent political party experiences a resurgence during the midterm elections, and with arguably the most unpopular Republican president in USA history occupying the White House, there's been much talk about the coming "blue wave" in 2018.

In a sign that leadership was not confident the conference would finally be able to get on the same page on an issue that has divided Republicans for years, Speaker Paul D. Ryan opened the Thursday conference by noting the objective of the talks was to head off the discharge petition, not force the issue, according to a source in the room. "I think our members realize that it's better to have a process that has a chance of going into law than not", Ryan said.

"I realize they are only three away", Ryan said.

House Republicans emerged from a critical meeting on immigration Thursday to say they are committed to writing a bill that matches President Trump's four pillars of reform - but didn't make much headway on settling big issues such as whether illegal immigrants will get full citizenship rights. The Democratic Party has a very slightly higher rating - 35 percent positive.

So went yet another morning in the basement of the Capitol, with nearly everyone decrying the current state of America's immigration system and no one agreeing how to fix it. Denham said a few Republicans have been holding off, wanting an immigration vote on the floor but preferring a bill with leadership approval. But we've been able to do this discharge petition and working with the Democrats to force the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives to bring a measure to the floor to help these young people, who, through no fault of their own, were taken to this country as children, grew up here, went to school here, oftentimes know of no other country.

Proponents told us the change will bring more "moderate" voters into the mix and lead to a more "pragmatic, problem-solving" group of elected officials. The discharge petition has 215 signatures, just three shy of the number needed to trigger the votes. For the first time, they will have an equal vote with long-time party loyalists in the selection of a party's nominees. Hard issues included which Dreamers would qualify for protections and whether they eventually could become USA citizens, lawmakers said. "So obviously time is of the essence".

"I would say there's some loose consensus right now", said Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., a leader of the centrists' effort to either strike a deal with conservatives or force immigration votes.

Perhaps what we expect from unaffiliated voters is a reflection of our hopes and fears more than anything else.

COFFMAN: No, and I think that's a sticking point. I mean, for the people you're talking about who were brought to the United States illegally as children, is it just protecting them from deportation you're interested in? However, Tuesday's contests will determine whether Democratic candidates in the swing districts are moderate or progressive. GOP leaders and conservatives say the likely result would be left-leaning legislation that would never clear the Senate or get Trump's signature. There is actually no convicting evidence that as a group, the unaffiliated voters who actually vote are more moderate or more pragmatic in their candidate preferences than voters with party affiliations. Joe L. Barton said. "But if it isn't bipartisan then you have another Obamacare debacle".

The meeting between moderates, conservatives and leadership continued to make progress, but there still seemed to be no resolution on the issue of establishing citizenship for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The farm bill now can't pass until the immigration debate is resolved. Ryan, who is not running for reelection, has been dogged by speculation since his announcement that he might need to resign early. He gave Congress six months to find a solution, but lawmakers have remained deadlocked.

Asked about reports that he offered the visa suggestion, Labrador said he would not get into the negotiations. For months he has argued that the party's way forward is to consistently remind voters that Democrats have controlled every lever of power in Sacramento for eight years-and are therefore responsible for any problems facing the state.

House GOP leaders say they'll try crafting immigration deal