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House defeats one GOP immigration bill, delays vote on second plan

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 11:01 AM

Struggling to find consensus on immigration reform, the House on Thursday rejected a more conservative Republican immigration reform bill, and then in a bid to salvage the effort, GOP leaders delayed action on a second immigration reform measure until next week.

It wasn't immediately clear how many changes GOP leaders would make in the second bill - or what they would be - all in a bid to draw more GOP support, and get an immigration plan through the House before lawmakers leave town next week for a July Fourth break.

41 House Republicans voted against the first GOP bill, which was defeated on a vote of 231-193, as the plan actually received more votes than most GOP lawmakers had expected.

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The Republicans who voted against the first GOP bill were a mixture of the Republican Party's different flanks, featuring more conservative lawmakers who wanted to do more, and moderates who felt it went too far.

"The President, my constituents and I want border security and an end to illegal immigration," said Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA). "I’ve heard from folks across the Third District this week that the legislation before us did not answer those concerns.”

"This is a difficult issue," said Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), who voted for this bill, but wouldn't tell reporters whether he would support a second measure that was still being tweaked by GOP leaders.

"Any jot or tittle one way or the other, you lose people because of the complexities, because of the sensitivities, and the emotions in this particular piece of legislation," Meadows said.

Here is the list of the 41 Republicans who voted "No."

One of the reasons more moderate Republicans voted against the first bill was because of the lack of a path to citizenship for younger illegal immigrant "Dreamers," who were brought to the U.S. by their parents.

While that is in the bill to be voted on next week, those provisions then could cause some other Republicans to vote against it, arguing it is nothing but amnesty.

"I'm a big fat no, capital letters" said Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), about the next bill. "It doesn't do anything to stop illegal immigration."

But other Republicans urged GOP lawmakers to compromise, and come together.

"Doing nothing should not be an option," said Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX). "Today, we have a historic opportunity to fix this problem, once and for all."

In debate on the House floor, Democrats focused mainly on the more recent immigration battle over the separation of illegal immigrant families, blaming President Donald Trump for doing little to seek compromise.

"On this issue, God is going to judge you as well," said Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) said to Republicans who were backing the President's get-tough effort on the border.

"The bills we have before us today are a disgrace," said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY).

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