Republicans in the House of Representatives appear to have briefly avoided an intra-party revolt on immigration, but the issue isn’t going away anytime soon—especially with the midterm elections heating up.
An insurrection from moderate Republicans who are just three signatures shy of the support needed for a discharge petition to force a vote on immigration reform in the House, including a solution on the 700,000 immigrants who were shielded from deportation by an Obama-era program known as DACA, is paused—for now. After a Thursday morning Republican conference meeting, House Speaker Paul Ryan said lawmakers are now focusing on reaching a compromise that he says will have a better chance of becoming law. “I think our members realize that it’s better to have a process that has a chance of going into law than not,” Ryan said.
After the meeting, moderates signaled they are not ready to give up on the discharge petition. But because the discharge petition is running up against a June 11 deadline (due to procedural rules), any compromise will have to surface within the next couple of days. If the bill comes to the floor before lawmakers succeed with the discharge petition, the effort could be stymied.
Yet, even if lawmakers manage to corral around a bill—one that appeases Democrats and moderates who want so-called Dreamers to have a path to citizenship and Republicans who are eager to reject anything that can be perceived as amnesty, at that—it will still face an uphill battle. What’s more, the issue is already front-and-center in the midterm contests.
If a bill passes the House, its fate in the Senate is unclear. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear immigration will not be on the agenda unless a proposal is presented that President Donald Trump is willing to sign. “I don’t think he’s okay with anything that I’ve seen…