Politics

Goodlatte Urges House Leadership to Put His Immigration Reform Bill Up for Vote

Judiciary Committee chairman says it's time for Congress to make 'sure our laws are respected' and to fix broken system

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) urged Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to bring his immigration bill to a vote during an interview Wednesday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”

Border security hard-liners and open borders advocates in Congress are struggling to reach an agreement and avoid a government shutdown that will follow failure to approve some sort of budget bill by the January 19 deadline.

But Goodlatte, along with Reps. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho.) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), introduced a House bill that would satisfy many of President Donald Trump’s key immigration reform priorities while also taking care of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, mostly children, who could soon face deportation.

Although the Trump White House supports the Goodlatte bill, the Republican House leadership has yet to bring the proposal to the floor for a vote.

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“I think it’s very important that the House pass this bill so that the Senate sees that there is strong, strong support for addressing DACA, but making sure that we have strong borders and making sure that our laws are respected,” Goodlatte said.

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But host Laura Ingraham pressed Goodlatte, asking, “Why won’t Paul Ryan bring this bill up for a vote?”

Doing so, Ingraham said, “would give this whole conversation a lot of momentum, don’t you think? And take the wind out of the sails of all these open borders types who are saying, ‘Trump’s a racist. Trump doesn’t want to help these people. Trump uses foul language in the Oval Office. We’re going to shut down the government.'”

“Your bill gives [Trump] what he said he will do — and a lot of these Democrats claim they’re for border security — and then you will take this other toxic element out of the equation,” Ingraham continued. “Why won’t Paul Ryan bring this up for a vote?”

Goodlatte’s bill includes provisions “that would accomplish the president’s core priorities for the American people,” according to the White House.

“The president looks forward to advancing legislation that secures the border, ends chain migration, cancels the visa lottery, and addresses the status of the DACA population in a responsible fashion,” the White House said in a statement.

Related: Paul Says Dems ‘Naïve’ to Expect to Get All They Want on DACA

Although border security hard-liners are encouraging GOP moderates to rally around the Goodlatte bill and thus fulfill some of Trump’s key 2016 campaign promises, key senators are pushing a watered down “bipartisan” compromise bill that Trump has firmly rejected.

“I’m looking for something that President Trump supports, and he has not yet indicated what measure he is willing to sign,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Wednesday. “As soon as we figure out what he is for, then I would be convinced that we were not just spinning our wheels.”

Ingraham was puzzled by McConnell’s words and wondered why the Senate majority leader didn’t already know what legislation Trump would support.

“How was that confusing for Senator McConnell? I’m not clear on that,” Ingraham said. “Listen to the people.”

“That’s why we’re pushing hard for this bill, and that’s why I think things are moving in the right direction now. And yes, we have to get the leader to bring this bill to the floor of the House,” Goodlatte responded.

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

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