Trump Visit Could Muddy Where House Republicans Land on Immigration Bills

The Daily Signal | 6/19/2018 | Staff
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House Republicans appeared to move toward the weaker of two immigration bills after meeting Tuesday evening with President Donald Trump ahead of votes expected later this week.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., sponsor of the stronger, more conservative bill, announced following the meeting that he instead could support the “consensus” legislation pushed by House Speaker Paul Ryan.

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“This bill brings our immigration system into the 21st century, contains a number of tools to enhance border security, prevents illegal immigration, and combats fraud in our immigration system,” Goodlatte said of the Ryan-backed measure in a press release Tuesday night.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the president spoke with the GOP lawmakers for about an hour amid intense media coverage of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” enforcement at the southern border, which sometimes includes separating children from parents.

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“The president wasn’t very clear about what he supports,” one House Republican aide told The Daily Signal, including which bill or what provisions. “There has just been a lot of confusion.”

In a tweet after the meeting, Goodlatte said he had formally introduced the Ryan-backed bill.

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Trump reportedly told the GOP lawmakers that he could sign either bill.

“I think the big takeaway is that it was a far cry short from what members were expecting,” the House aide said. “At least as of yesterday he was at a yes-yes strategy, ‘I want both to pass.'”

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Trump departed from the subject of immigration reform to talk about other matters, including North Korea.

“Most of the [meeting] was him talking about trade and tax reform,” the aide said, “and he wasn’t really talking about immigration. I was told he only did a few minutes on that.”

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In a phone interview with The Daily Signal immediately afterward, Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., blamed Democrats for obstructing immigration reforms and said he continues to support the stronger of the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Daily Signal
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