House GOP in tentative deal to help 'Dreamers

John Cox

John Cox

GOP lawmakers were meeting Thursday morning in the Capitol basement. Some moderates, meanwhile, are looking to force debate on several immigration bills.

His increased confidence comes on the eve of Wednesday's two-hour House Republican conference to discuss immigration.

If no immigration deal is reached before Tuesday, Denham said he will push ahead with his effort to force an immigration vote without leadership approval.

At 38 percent, unaffiliated voters make up the largest and fastest-growing voting block in the state - registered Republicans and Democrats make up 29 and 30 percent, respectively.

The 1994-2014 partisan divisions have been unusually long-enduring, aside from the short-lived shift to Democrats in 2006-08, and the actual number of Obama/Trump voters who switched 100 electoral votes to the Republican was small by historical standards. In 2016, Democrats cast 55,000 ballots early to Republicans' almost 56,000.

"A discharge petition will result in no law", Ryan said.

"We've got the rule of law in this country, and nobody gets special consideration", said Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

The DREAMers are undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children. There are roughly 700,000 now covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but Trump has proposed legal status for up to 1.8 million Dreamers. The president gave Congress six months to find a permanent solution but neither chamber was successful.

Republicans now control both the House and the Senate. Opposed to the forced vote, known as a discharge petition, Ryan did at least promise to "put pen to paper" on a compromise bill for DACA. The one with the most votes, assuming a majority, would be sent to the Senate. Ryan said he can't constantly concern himself with what can pass the Senate and they can deal with that obstacle later.

Not only is there no one in charge, but there's also not even any kind of formal mechanism through which the various party actors can collectively reach a decision. Another bill from Rep.

But he said the starting point is the immigration principles laid out by Trump early this year: aggressive immigration security, including the construction of a wall along the Southwest border with Mexico, and a clamp-down on allowing family members overseas from joining relatives living legally in the United States.

Sens. Perdue (R-GA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Mike Lee (R-UT) led a movement to have McConnell cancel the August recess and spend more time confirming the president's nominees and working on the budget so that Congress can avoid another $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill.

If the discharge petition gets the needed votes it could come to the floor as early as June 25.

"I'm not anxious about the discharge petition".

The question is what effect Trump's improved ratings - should they last until November - will have on the midterm elections.

Inside the meeting, according to multiple members leaving, House Speaker Paul Ryan and leadership started off by presenting some general options and ideas to the full conference, but then opened the floor to input. "That's a good issue for us, not for them", he said. "And I really do believe there's a sweet spot here". He expressed uncertainty over what would happen after that, but said participants have characterized the proposal as a bridge to the legal immigration system - which suggests a pathway to remaining in the US permanently.

The major hang-up in GOP talks has been how to offer citizenship to young immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children.

"There's some loose consensus right now", said Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., a leader of centrists threatening to force votes if they can't strike a deal with conservatives.

The group of moderates are getting representatives behind a discharge petition, which essentially allow a coalition of Democrats and Republicans to go around House Republican leadership. He said he was unclear what the pathway to remaining legally after that would be. So far it is not clear what such a path would look like.

Nearly half of voters, 48 percent, say they are more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who "would promise to provide a check on Donald Trump".

In New Jersey, a traditionally Republican leaning state that swung left in recent years, incumbent Democrat senator Bob Menendez faced opposition from both inside and outside the party after being embroiled in a federal corruption case. And without Democratic support in the Senate, it'd be impossible to get the proposal to Trump's desk.

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