The Latest: Votes planned on 2 immigration bills
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Congress’ efforts to pass immigration legislation (all times local):
A top Republican aide says the House will vote next week on two immigration bills. The plan comes after GOP moderates and conservatives failed to reach agreement on a compromise measure.
AshLee Strong is spokeswoman for Speaker Paul Ryan. She says the votes will head off a petition moderates have been pushing that could force votes on other immigration bills that they prefer.
Republicans say one of the bills will be a strongly conservative measure without a way for young “Dreamer” immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally to become citizens. The other will offer citizenship for those immigrants, like moderates want, plus strong border security language conservatives want.
Strong says Republicans will discuss the plan at a closed-door meeting on Wednesday.
Moderate Republicans have coalesced behind an immigration proposal aimed at resolving the party’s internal warfare over the issue. But a bargaining session with conservatives and party leaders has ended without an agreement.
The moderates’ plan was described by three Republicans involved in the talks. They say it would have given young “Dreamer” immigrants a chance at eventually becoming citizens.
In exchange, the measure would have provided billions for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico and accepted other conservative demands, including curbing current legal immigration programs.
The Republicans spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private negotiations.
House Republican leaders and top moderates and conservatives still don’t have an immigration deal. But they’ve emerged from a private meeting expressing optimism that they’re nearing an agreement.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy tells reporters, “We’re close, very close.” Leaders of the party’s warring moderate and conservative factions also suggest that progress is being made.
Top centrists aren’t saying if they’ll follow through on their threat to gather the signatures needed to force a series of immigration votes late this month. They must do so by Tuesday night or those votes will not occur until at least July. Party leaders want to prevent those votes, and instead want a vote on a conservative-leaning measure.
Moderates want legislation giving young “Dreamer” immigrants a chance at citizenship. Conservatives have opposed that.
House Republicans are laboring to strike an immigration accord, and a deadline has arrived.
GOP leaders and warring moderates and conservatives planned to meet Tuesday to try to reach an agreement that has long been elusive. The two sides have differences over whether to give young “Dreamer” immigrants a way to become legal residents and citizens, and what type of border security measures are needed.
Restive moderates have said that unless there is an agreement today, they will take procedural steps to force future votes on immigration. GOP leaders oppose that effort and are trying to find common ground.
Participants say any deal would likely include provisions changing how immigrant children are separated from their families at the border.