Ryan: Trump is all in on immigration votes
WASHINGTON — Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said at a closed meeting of House Republicans on Wednesday that his plan to bring two immigration bills up for a vote next week had the approval of President Donald Trump, who is enthusiastic about the effort, according to a person who attended the meeting.
Whether either bill can pass is very much in doubt.
Wednesday’s gathering came less than 12 hours after Ryan’s office announced the House would consider immigration next week — but not bipartisan bills aimed primarily at protecting young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.
Instead, lawmakers will consider a hard-line measure that emphasizes border security and a somewhat more moderate compromise measure, yet to be finalized, that still meets Trump’s standards.
But the approval of an immigration hard-liner like Trump only underscored the growing sense that a rebellion by moderate Republicans seeking bipartisanship had utterly failed. It underscored the reality that the president has effectively acquired the last say over the actions of Congress.
Lawmakers attending the meeting said the compromise bill will be built around four principles that the president has insisted any immigration bill contain. They are a path to citizenship for the young, unauthorized children known as Dreamers; beefed-up border security, including $25 billion for the wall the president wants to build; an end to the current diversity visa lottery system; and limits on family-based, or “chain,” migration.
Ryan told reporters that the “last thing I want to do is bring a bill out of here that I know the president won’t support.”
Democrats slammed the plan as a betrayal of bipartisan efforts to address the fate of Dreamers.
“Let’s be clear: These Republican proposals aren’t to provide relief for Dreamers; they’re an avenue for mass deportations and to stoke fear in communities, said Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
The hard-line bill, known as the Goodlatte bill after its chief author, Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte, R-6th, is highly unlikely to get enough votes to pass the House.
But the compromise bill also faces a highly questionable path.
“I don’t think anyone’s in a position to make any guarantees on whether a bill will pass or not,” said Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., a leader of moderate Republicans who have pushed for the House to vote on immigration.