Speed Reads

DACA debate

The House will vote on rival immigration bills next week, in a loss for GOP immigration moderates

Late Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) office announced that "the House will consider two bills next week that will avert the discharge petition and resolve the border security and immigration issues," signaling defeat for a group of moderate Republicans who had worked with Democrats to force a vote on a bipartisan immigration measure that would easily pass in the House. The discharge petition to force consideration of a bill that would reinstate legal protections for DREAMers — young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children — got 216 signatures, two short of the 218 needed, after GOP leaders pressured supportive Republicans to abstain from signing the petition.

Neither of the rival bills the House will vote on next week — a hard-line conservative bill that focuses on enforcement and restricting all sorts of immigration while offering a narrow path to permanent residence for DREAMers, and an as-yet unwritten bill that Ryan says will be a "compromise" measure — have much of a chance. The hard-line bill almost certainly won't pass the House and the other one, even if it does pass, won't pass in the Senate. Democrats have signaled they will support neither. "If Republicans plan to use Dreamers as a way to advance [Trump's] xenophobic, anti-immigrant agenda, they will get a fight from House Democrats," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tweeted.

Paul and other House leaders fought against the discharge petition on the grounds that forcing a vote on a bill that would protect DREAMers could depress turnout among conservatives in the 2018 midterms. The moderates have one more shot to execute the discharge petition before the midterms, on July 23.