House gop leaders promise to take up immigration legislation in june npr gas appliance manufacturers association


At the same time, a competing group of more moderate Republicans continues to advance a discharge petition — over the vocal opposition of the speaker — to force the House to vote on a competing series of immigration proposals. The goal is to ultimately pass a more centrist bill that Democrats can support.

"I think that it’s important to have something that will get 60 votes in the Senate; that means getting Democrats on board. We will have Democrats on board in the House as well," said GOP Rep. Jeff Denham of California, one of the discharge petition advocates who said he expects more lawmakers to sign on to the effort Tuesday.

A discharge petition is a rarely used parliamentary tool that can force a vote on legislation if at least 218 lawmakers sign on to the maneuver. If successful, it requires a short waiting period and can only be voted on in the House on the second or fourth Monday in a month the chamber is in session. It rarely succeeds because, by design, it undercuts the will of the majority party, and Ryan reiterated Tuesday he opposes that effort.

But the petition is attracting support from more than just a small cadre of moderates. New York Republican Chris Collins was one of President Trump’s earliest supporters in Congress and a backer of the conservative Goodlatte bill — and he signed the petition.

"It’s a risk," Collins said. "For those of us who told our constituents we’re going to fight for them, we can go back and say, ‘While I’m disappointed something didn’t pass, I’m fighting the good fight. I’m doing my best. I’m going to keep fighting the good fight.’ "

"Every Democrat, I think, is supportive of bringing a bill to the floor that would fix and protect DACA," Hoyer said. "I’m hoping that we can get sufficient signatures to discharge a rule which allows for four different alternatives and allows the speaker to offer anything he wants. How much more open and fair and transparent can you be?"

"I’m tired of defending nothing. Even if nothing passes, you’ve got to put forth the effort so you know where people are. Now that may be an entirely ludicrous thought but that’s where I’m at," said Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., who has signed the discharge petition. "Guess what: I’m not trying to sow discontentment or mutiny — I’ve just frankly run out of patience with, ‘Yeah, we’ll get to it.’ "

"I just don’t agree with that because there’s a lot of members in districts similar to mine, middle-of-the-road districts, where they’re just looking for people to solve problems, and when you’re willing to just have the courage to just go solve problems, voters reward you for that," Costello said.

House Republicans have never been able to come up with an immigration bill that can pass with GOP votes alone, although that is clearly the continued preference of conservatives like Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., one of the Republicans who took down the farm bill last week.

While lawmakers, including Meadows, continue to voice support for Ryan’s leadership, the immigration debate may test not only his ability to stay on as speaker through the election as he plans but also the ambitions of the Republicans who want to move up the leadership ladder when he is gone: Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.

Bozell signed a public letter along with more than 100 conservative leaders on Monday calling for leadership elections now and throwing their support behind Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a prominent member of the House Freedom Caucus. Conservative activists are closely watching the upcoming immigration debate.

"Obviously, I serve at the pleasure of the members," Ryan said. "Those are the people who drafted me into this job in the first place, but I think we all agree the best thing for us is to complete our agenda and not wedge into the middle of the completion of our agenda a divisive leadership election."