August 15, 2018

GOP factions offer conflicting claims over immigration talks

13 June 2018, 07:15 | Darnell Patrick

Republican leaders in the House are on the verge of avoiding another major embarrassment

House Republicans grapple with immigration debate, don't reach deal in 2-hour huddle

Denham says that under the proposal from the conservative House Freedom Caucus, young immigrants could get a new visa to stay in the US for eight years. And the basic question of whether dreamers ought to have any path to citizenship at all has not been definitively answered by the most conservative House Republicans, who have long opposed any amnesty for illegal immigrants. It would be unlikely to get substantial Democratic support, given widespread opposition to numerous measures Trump has said are necessary for his signature.

Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), one of the moderates' leaders in ongoing negotiations, told TPM Thursday afternoon that he thought the rough outlines of a pact were emerging.

"We have the right kind of conversations happening, and the next step is to start putting pen to paper so we can get legislation to the floor", Ryan told reporters after Thursday's meeting.

In March, Trump expressed interest in meeting with Kim and the administration announced May 10 that a U.S.

On Thursday, it appeared that a tentative deal with conservatives was being discussed to help the young immigrants stay in the US legally.

"We're still not in a situation where we're in an agreement", said conservative and Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican. And I think working on a bipartisan basis is a good thing.

That split-between those who eager to look tough on immigration and those who are vulnerable on the issue-is one of the many driving forces behind the current impasse in the House.

A discharge petition brought on by a handful of moderate Republicans and the entire Democratic conference has upended the June schedule and forced GOP leaders to race against the clock to develop a compromise on an immigration bill that would garner at least 218 votes.

Even with positive economic news and the promised tax cuts, doubts and misgivings about Trump's temperament and policies remain a millstone for Republicans on the 2018 ballot and a wind at the back of challenging Democrats. Bob Corker in Tennessee, Trump framed Democrats as "MS-13 loving" fans of "open borders" and said he hopes the issue is at play throughout campaign season.

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"The next two or three days will be decisive in terms of whether or not people keep their word and support this framework that is fairly detailed", Curbelo said. At the moment, the discharge petition has 215 signatures, which is comprised of every single Democrat and 22 Republicans. "There was consensus that we have to find an agreement", he said.

Inside the closed-door meeting, several lawmakers said they felt the hard-liners lean into talks more than they had before.

The speaker also again suggested Democrats aren't interested in a legislative fix on DACA because they want to campaign on the issue.

Lawmakers said after the meeting they were making progress but it was unlikely they could produce legislation by Tuesday.

When asked if his lame duck status has made it harder to negotiate with his rank-and-file, Ryan said no. Just 32 percent of voters say their representative in Congress deserves re-election, while 53 percent want to give someone new a chance.

But, the sources also cautioned, the specifics regarding who would qualify for the visa and what the thresholds would be remain key details to be worked out before a deal is reached.

As he prepares to exit his political career at the end of the year, House Speaker Paul Ryan is struggling to control various factions in the Republican conference as a heated immigration fight consumes the agenda in Congress. Ryan largely stuck to the President's areas of concern that he has articulated previously, and described different ideas to get there that have come from weeks of negotiation.

Even if the petition gets to 218 signatures Republicans may continue to negotiate up until June 25 to see if they can strike a deal that would get the discharge supporters to agree to a procedural maneuver to turn it off. Splitting of the Democratic vote could have led to two Republicans running in the general election. "I think the Democrats walked away from the process once the Supreme Court took away our deadline on March 5th on this issue, and that has left it to us to get it done". Members, including Walker and Denham, have said they have been in touch with White House aides including Short and top adviser Stephen Miller.

Moderate Republicans who support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals unveiled the discharge petition in May.

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