Trump Tells House Republicans To “Stop Wasting Their Time” On New Immigration Bill
President Donald Trump promised Republican lawmakers earlier this week that he would completely support them amid the national controversy on immigration. On Friday, Trump insisted they “stop wasting their time” trying to pass new legislation on the issue.
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Despite this, top House Republicans said they intend to vote on an immigration bill next week.
“Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November,” Trump said in a tweet. “Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!”
Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!
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— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
Moderates and hard-line conservatives in the GOP-dominated Congress have been stuck in a heated fight on immigration, and Speaker Paul Ryan has desperately tried to help both sides reach a comprehensive deal that would help “Dreamers” — children who came to the U.S. as undocumented immigrants at a young age — eventually become American citizens. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, created under President Barack Obama, was meant to protect these type of youngsters but expired on March 5.
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Trump has long insisted that any bill on immigration would need to include billions of dollars in funding for his proposed border wall, which he says Mexico will pay for. Some Republican lawmakers have backed the idea of allotting money for the wall, while others have derided this notion.
On Thursday night, the House rejected the so-called Goodlatte immigration bill after 41 Republicans opposed it.
In recent weeks, many media outlets and prominent conservatives have accused the GOP of becoming the “Trump party” by instinctively siding with the president on many issues. Some have also said opposing Trump has proved to be damaging for Republican lawmakers, particularly those seeking re-election in November’s midterms. Rep. Mark Sanford, who lost his primary bid in South Carolina this month, was a vocal critic of the president and many believe this ultimately hurt his chances of retaining his seat. Trump mocked Sanford on Twitter following his primary loss.
Sanford commented on Trump’s tweet on CNN and how it would affect Republicans’ plans to pass a new immigration bill.
“Game over,” said Sanford. “It takes the wind out of the sails in what might have been a fairly productive weekend in terms of looking for a compromise. I don’t know how it happens. If you look at how contentious this issue is, how much emotion there is, you know, without the president being out front, without the president having legislators’ backs, there’s no way they’re going to take the risks that would be inherent in a major reform bill.”
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House Majority Whip Steve Scalise told Politico he believed the immigration vote will still be held next week, and that Trump was simply pointing out that Democrats have not been willing to reach an agreement with Republicans on the issue.
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