House will vote on immigration bill but expects it to fail

The House will vote on a compromise immigration-reform bill Wednesday, but GOP leaders worry that it will fail and that they will have to settle for a smaller bill that only addresses the family separations issue.
By Rick Docksai | Oct 28, 2018
House GOP leaders are planning to hold a floor vote Wednesday on their "compromise" immigration bill, but key lawmakers said that they don't think it has any chance of success. Republicans have been working through the weekend on the measure, which aims to end the family separations while also boosting border security, but divisions within Republican ranks may force them to settle for a smaller-scale measure that just addresses the separations.

GOP leaders crafted the compromise bill over weeks of negotiations between GOP conservatives and moderates. The measure is one of two immigration bills that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) promised would get a vote this month. The House defeated the other bill, a more hardline measure by Rep. Charlie Goodlatte (R-Va.) to further restrict immigration in general, last week in a 193-231 vote.

But GOP leaders said they might not have enough votes for the compromise bill, either. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), one of the compromise bill's chief negotiators, told Fox News on Monday that he thinks the bill "would fail right now."

Meadows added that the House might instead pass a follow-up bill that only ends the family separations. Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.) said that he is willing to back this smaller-scale bill if the larger one fails to pass.

"If it's a reasonable proposal, yeah, absolutely," Valadao, who stayed in Washington over the weekend to help make last-minute changes to the compromise bill, told The Hill. "At the end of the day, we've got to find a way to make sure we keep families together as much as we possibly can, as quickly as we possibly can."

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