GOP Goodlatte Immigration bill vote defeated in blow for Trump, leadership

30 June, 2018, 21:56 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Detained Children

President Donald Trump is brushing off the failure of the Republican-led House to pass a far-ranging immigration bill.

The compromise legislation earmarked $25 billion for Trump's border wall and other security measures and would have provided a pathway to citizenship for so-called "Dreamers" who were brought to the USA illegally as children.

The bill was killed 301-121, with almost half of Republicans opposing the measure.

GOP leaders are planning votes in July on two more narrow bills that are also not guaranteed to pass.

Included in the bill was almost $25 billion for the U.S. -Mexico border wall, a project sharply opposed by Democrats but required by Trump, he said, for his signature. The defeat of the legislation, which even its backers anticipated, capped more than a month of intense GOP negotiations that played out amid public backlash against immigrant families being separated at the border because of Trump administration policy.

"House Republicans should pass the strong but fair immigration bill known as Goodlatte II, in their afternoon vote today, even though the Dems won't let it pass in the Senate", Mr. Trump tweeted - in all capital letters.

GOP leaders have been trying to garner support anyway, and Trump's Wednesday tweet was emailed to House Republicans in an effort to sway some representatives. It was also the latest example of Trump's erratic dealings with Congress. He told Republicans in a closed-door meeting that he liked both bills on the table, despite not endorsing a specific plan.

He blamed Ryan for failing to deliver a more well-rounded approach, pointing to at least one bipartisan bill that was not allowed to come up for a vote. House Republican leaders initially planned to vote on both measures the same day, but postponed the vote in hopes of shoring up support.

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The lawsuit claims Trump's order is riddled with caveats and fails to reunite parents and children who already were separated.

Last Friday, he'd urged Republicans to stop wasting time on the effort until after the November elections.

"It is critical that Congress advance immigration reform so we can finally address our nation's critical immigration challenges, and I remain committed to working with my Republican colleagues and across the aisle to see that we solve it", he said.

For his part, Speaker Paul Ryan has been sanguine about the looming failure of the bill in recent days, sticking to what has always been his public and private theory: it will take a new deadline on DACA protections to drive some kind of bipartisan consensus on a broad proposal.

That said, the president had indicated last minute support for the compromise bill though this might have only added to sense of confusion as to what exactly Mr. Trump's true position was.

Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., and Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., from districts with large numbers of Hispanic voters, helped force Ryan to stage immigration votes.

The family separations have occurred since early May after the administration began seeking to prosecute all adults crossing the border without authorization, including those traveling with children. The bill would have allowed the government to use money from a $7 billion fund to build new detention facilities, and lift the cap prohibiting the government from detaining accompanied children for more than 20 days, a provision Democrats claim would allow the government to detain children with their parents indefinitely.

But, the group continues to work and there is still no compromise legislation in the Senate. "I do think there's a good bit of us that aren't ready to give up on something".

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