850 N 4TH AVE. * WALLA WALLA, WA 99362 Walla Walla Office (509) 525-6510 Dayton Office (509) 382-2571 St. John Office (509) 648-3316 FAX (509) 529-6050 Office Hours: 7:30am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:30pm
GOP Warns Ryan Over Immigration Bill 05/22 06:18
Leaders of warring House Republican factions searched for an immigration
compromise as some conservatives warned of consequences for Speaker Paul Ryan
if he allowed party moderates to push a bipartisan bill through the chamber
without strong GOP support.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Leaders of warring House Republican factions searched for
an immigration compromise as some conservatives warned of consequences for
Speaker Paul Ryan if he allowed party moderates to push a bipartisan bill
through the chamber without strong GOP support.
The talks Monday occurred as centrist Republicans remained five GOP
signatures away from being able to force party leaders to hold votes on a
series of immigration bills. Should they succeed, it would launch a process in
which the likely outcome seemed to be passage of a middle-ground measure backed
by a handful of Republicans and all Democrats. Ryan has said he will avert that
outcome, though it's unclear how, and many conservatives consider it
Conservative and moderate GOP leaders negotiated privately over ways to win
centrist support for a conservative-backed measure that for months has
floundered short of the 218 Republican votes it would need for House passage.
They discussed changes that would help young "Dreamer" immigrants brought to
the U.S. illegally as children and immigrant farm workers stay longer in the
U.S., said one lawmaker who described the private discussions on condition of
The effort to find GOP unity seemed uphill on an issue that has divided the
party for years. But the alternative seemed unpalatable for many Republicans,
who fear that the centrists' effort will force GOP lawmakers to take divisive
election-year votes unless leaders figure out how to head them off.
The conservative bill would currently reduce legal immigration, clear the
way for construction of President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico and
let Dreamers stay in the U.S. for renewable three-year periods. All Democrats
oppose the measure and it would have no chance of clearing the more moderate
Monday's negotiations came three days after bitter Republican divisions over
immigration caused an unrelated farm bill to crash. Members of the hard-right
House Freedom Caucus helped caused the agriculture measure's defeat after
refusing a leadership offer for a vote on the conservative immigration bill in
June, which they said was too late.
Some members of the Freedom Caucus suggested it would be time for Ryan to
step down should moderates prevail.
Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., said it would cause "a lot more disgruntlement" if
the moderates prevail, adding, "People in my district want him to go, now."
"If we run an amnesty bill out of a Republican House, I think all options
are on the table," said Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., a member of the group, when
asked if Ryan should remain as speaker if the moderates' effort succeeds.
Ryan is not seeking re-election to the House but has repeatedly said he will
serve the rest of this year as speaker. Many conservatives say legislation
protecting immigrants in the U.S. illegally from deportation is amnesty.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the Freedom Caucus leader, said he does not think
Ryan should vacate his post if the moderates succeed. But he said House passage
of a middle-ground measure would have a "devastating effect" on the GOP because
it would "depress anybody who feels like the Republican Party needs to be
strong on immigration."
Other Republicans said it seemed unlikely Ryan would abandon his post. They
said others --- including Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., seen as the
likeliest successor --- so far lack the GOP votes they'd need to win the job.
Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., a Freedom Caucus member, said Ryan has made good on
his word to conservatives not to bring up an immigration bill unless it had
support from most Republicans. "We just want him to hold true," Brat said.
"It's best for stability" for Ryan to stay, said moderate Rep. Ryan
The moderates need 218 signatures --- a House majority --- on a petition to
force votes on immigration bills, a rarely used procedure.
With all 193 Democrats expected to sign, the moderates need five more than
the 20 signatures they already have. If they succeed, a vote could occur no
earlier than late June.