President Donald Trump

House GOP ‘Uphill Fight’ on Immigration About More Than Trump
President’s tweets not helping, but Republicans still have major policy divisions

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., leaves the Capitol in the rain after the final vote of the week on Friday. He plans to spend his weekend continuing negotiations over immigration legislation, striving to reach an agreement on changes before a rescheduled vote next week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump is certainly not helping House Republicans by deeming their immigration negotiations a waste of time, but he’s far from the only issue they face in what one GOP leader called an “uphill fight” to pass legislation.

The House Republican Conference is still struggling internally to coalesce around a bill that members from the various GOP factions negotiated in recent weeks, dubbed the compromise bill. Republican leaders had initially scheduled a vote on the measure for Thursday, and then thought about Friday. Ultimately, they decided to push it off into the next week to negotiate further changes

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Moderates Punt on Immigration Petition as GOP Goals Drift
House plans to vote on 2 proposals next week, but compromise remains elusive

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., arrives at the office of Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday for a meeting on immigration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In the month since moderate Republicans launched a discharge petition to force the House to take up immigration legislation to protect so-called Dreamers, they’ve continuously moved the goal posts on what it is they want to achieve. On Tuesday, they shifted the target again.

The moderates have effectively agreed to drop their discharge petition on the “queen of the hill” rule — which would set up votes on four immigration measures, with the one getting the most votes above a majority prevailing — even though there’s not yet agreement on alternative legislation that can pass the House. 

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House Republicans No Closer to Immigration Deal After Pivotal Meeting
Impasse signals discharge petition will soon get final signatures needed for June 25 vote

Reps. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., center, and Jeff Denham, R-Calif., are leading a discharge petition that is expected to soon have 218 signatures amid continued GOP disagreement on immigration. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans spent two hours Thursday morning talking through their differences on immigration but left the pivotal meeting no closer to a legislative solution.

The continued discord all but guarantees a discharge petition will get the 218 signatures by early next week, which would trigger a June 25 vote on a queen of the hill rule setting up a series of votes on existing immigration bills that also lack unified GOP support.

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5 Obstacles to a House Republican Immigration Deal
Dreamer question, rules for debate, Democrats, the Senate and Trump all stand in the way

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., says moderate Republicans want the House to pass a bipartisan immigration bill that will have a chance of passing in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans are trying to do in a matter of weeks what they couldn’t accomplish during their nearly eight years in the majority — pass a sweeping immigration bill.

The GOP is facing a self-imposed deadline to move legislation the third week of June that, among other things, would protect so-called Dreamers from deportation. The legal status of those young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children is in limbo, along with the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

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