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House GOP Immigration Drama and Intrigue Mushrooms
Confusion over bill leads to delayed vote as blame casting begins

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., leaves his office on Thursday, June 21, as House Republicans struggle to find support for an immigration bill. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

The House Republican Conference was in disarray Thursday over immigration as GOP leaders delayed a key vote on a compromise bill and members began to cast blame for the measure’s predicted defeat.

The events escalated a drama that had begun Wednesday as GOP leaders struggled, yet again, to unite their fractured conference.

‘Zero Tolerance’ Remains in Effect as First Lady Visits Migrant Kids
POTUS says one thing about prosecutions, newspaper another, DOJ something else

First lady Melania Trump smiles after signing a welcome poster made for her at the Upbring New Hope Childrens Center operated by Lutheran Social Services of the South and contracted with the Department of Health and Human Services June 21, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The White House policy prosecuting all adults who enter the United States illegally remains in place even if they arrive with children, President Donald Trump said as his wife defiantly toured a southern border detention center.

Trump defended the “zero tolerance” policy at the conclusion of a Cabinet meeting at the White House amid confusion about the status of the program and the fates of detained migrant families.

House Rejects Conservative Immigration Bill, Delays Consideration of Compromise
Goodlatte-sponsored bill goes down as leaders look to round up support on second measure

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., followed by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., leaves Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s offices on Thursday, June 21, 2018, as House GOP leadership tries to find a path to pass immigration legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday rejected, 193-231, an immigration bill conservatives favor, as GOP leaders delayed a vote on a compromise immigration bill moderate Republicans prefer. 

The vote on final passage of the compromise measure, originally scheduled for Thursday evening, is being moved to Friday to provide more time to answer members' questions about the bill, GOP aides confirmed.

Ryan Doesn’t Know If House Republicans Can Pass Any Immigration Bill
Two bills the House is voting on Thursday are expected to fail

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is not sure the House can pass any immigration bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan acknowledged on Thursday that he’s not sure if House Republicans can pass any immigration bill, even as the chamber was poised to begin voting on two such measures. 

“I don’t know the answer to that question,” the Wisconsin Republican said when asked if there’s any legislative solution on immigration that could unify the GOP conference, which is divided on many issues but particularly immigration. 

This Time, Trump Undercuts Both House GOP Immigration Bills
President: ‘What is the purpose’ of chamber’s votes if Senate Dems oppose both?

Speaker Paul D. Ryan escorts President Donald Trump to the House Republican caucus meeting in the Capitol basement on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump, the leader of the Republican Party, Thursday morning gave already skeptical House GOP members even less incentive to support either immigration bill set for floor votes later in the day.

Conservatives are skeptical of a compromise measure crafted largely by Republican leaders during talks with the conference’s various factions. And moderates have long had heartburn about a conservative measure.

In Midst of Migrant Crisis, Trump Calls Media ‘Almost Treasonous’
President suggests coverage of Kim summit amounts to crime punishable by death

President Donald Trump was interviewed by Mike Huckabee at the White House on Monday for the former Arkansas governor’s weekly TV show. (Courtesy TBN)

Updated 8:50 a.m. | President Donald Trump had little to say Wednesday night about his self-created migrant crisis, but in its midst he was quick to suggest the media committed treason with its coverage of his summit with Kim Jong Un.

Speaking to a campaign rally crowd in Minnesota, Trump gave only a brief mention to his decision to keep migrant families together while the parents await prosecution for the misdemeanor of trying to enter the United States illegally. He appeared in no mood to talk about the broader subject, immigration, one of his go-to campaign rally themes.

Capitol Ink | Migrants

GOP Chaos, Confusion Ahead of Thursday Immigration Votes
Prospects for passage appeared poor amid haphazard whip effort

Attorney General Jeff Sessions went to the House to ask Republicans to support the immigration bills the chamber will consider Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Confusion and chaos ensued Wednesday as House Republican leaders conducted a haphazard whip effort on a compromise immigration bill they planned to bring to the floor the next day. The prospects for the bill passing were clearly poor.

The frenetic feel of the day was similar to March 23, 2017. House GOP leaders spent that day engulfed in conversations with members as they tried to whip support for their bill to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law in an effort to vote on the law’s anniversary.

Analysis: Migrants, ‘Rocket Man’ and Trump’s Ever-Changing Mind
Executive order another contradictory move in an ever-changing presidency

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he arrives at the Capitol for a meeting on immigration with House Republicans on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump is a hardliner. Until he’s not. Donald Trump is open to compromise. Until he’s not.

The president — yet again — on Thursday reversed himself on a major issue by ending his administration’s practice of separating migrant families. In doing so, he bowed to all kinds of pressure: from his wife and daughter, from human rights groups, from Democratic members — and even from his fellow Republicans.

Trump Signs Executive Action Ending Family Separation
ACLU warns president’s action merely replaces ‘one crisis for another’

Central American asylum seekers wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take groups of them into custody on June 12, 2018, near McAllen, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Updated 6:57 p.m. | Bowing to public pressure, President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive action ending the practice of separating migrant children from their parents amid a firestorm that saw congressional Republicans break with him.

The president contends Congress must pass legislation addressing the matter for it to be permanently solved given existing laws and court rulings his administration says mandates a process under which migrant children are separated from their parents when caught trying to illegally enter the United States. And it appears families can only be held together for 20 days, unless a federal judge alters a previous ruling placing a limit on detaining migrant families together.