WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Congress and immigration (all times local):
President Donald Trump is brushing off the failure of the Republican-led House to pass a far-ranging immigration bill.
The bill was rejected by a wide margin Wednesday despite an eleventh-hour endorsement from Trump.
Speaking to reporters later in the Oval Office, the president said he told Republicans to “do what you want and ultimately we’ll come to something, and perhaps it will be after the election, maybe it will be before.”
Trump said he hadn’t gotten “overly excited” about the House bill because it wouldn’t pass the Senate.
Trump was asked about a federal judge ordering thousands of migrant children and parents to be reunited within 30 days. He said, “we believe the families should be together also.”
The Republican-led House has killed a broad, GOP-written immigration bill. The rejection was expected because of Republican divisions and solid Democratic opposition.
The defeat reflects GOP worries over alienating conservatives, whom they’ll need in this fall’s elections. The bill would give some immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children a chance for citizenship, and that’s anathema to hard-right voters.
The 301-121 vote came despite President Donald Trump tweeting his eleventh-hour support.
Trump’s views on the issue have repeatedly flip-flopped. Some GOP lawmakers had become nervous about backing the package for fear that he might change his mind again, putting them on the wrong side of Trump backers.
The bill would finance Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico, limit legal immigration and curb the separation of migrant families.
The White House is formally telling Congress that President Donald Trump supports a Republican immigration bill on which the House is about to vote.
Trump’s position has swerved wildly in recent days, making many GOP lawmakers hesitant of backing the bill. He tweeted support for it early Wednesday, five days after saying they should abandon it as a waste of time.
In a letter to lawmakers, the White House writes that the administration “strongly supports” the legislation. It says that the measure “would support the administration’s goals” on border security and restricting legal immigration. They say it would also provide “a responsible solution” for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally who hope to gain citizenship.
The bill seems likely to lose because of GOP divisions and solid Democratic opposition.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told immigration protesters to leave her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, alone.
That’s according to video of the exchange between Chao and a handful of protesters who confronted the couple after an event Monday evening in Georgetown.
Chao told the protesters, “Why don’t you leave my husband alone?”
The protesters asked questions as the GOP leader, with Capitol police, climbed into his SUV.
They said, “Why are you separating families?” They also asked her, “How does he sleep at night?”
Chao, an immigrant who came to the U.S. as a child, was confirmed by the Senate in 2017 as President Donald Trump’s Transportation secretary.
McConnell’s office said they do not typically comment on protests.
President Donald Trump is urging House Republicans to pass a far-reaching immigration bill, just days after he said the GOP should abandon legislative efforts until after the midterm elections.
Trump tweeted in capital letters Wednesday: “HOUSE REPUBLICANS SHOULD PASS THE STRONG BUT FAIR IMMIGRATION BILL, KNOWN AS GOODLATTE II, IN THEIR AFTERNOON VOTE TODAY, EVEN THOUGH THE DEMS WON’T LET IT PASS IN THE SENATE. PASSAGE WILL SHOW THAT WE WANT STRONG BORDERS & SECURITY WHILE THE DEMS WANT OPEN BORDERS = CRIME. WIN!”
The tweet gives potential new life to a measure that was widely expected to lose in voting Wednesday.
Trump Friday told his fellow Republicans in Congress to “stop wasting their time” on immigration legislation until after the November elections.
A far-reaching Republican immigration bill is careening toward likely House rejection.
A defeat would be a telling rebuff of GOP leaders, who crafted the measure as a compromise between the party’s conservatives and moderates.
GOP lawmakers are already considering the alternative of passing legislation by week’s end curbing the Trump administration’s contentious separating of migrant families.
The House plans its showdown roll call on the Republican immigration bill for Wednesday. Democrats are set to vote solidly against it.
The measure would give some young immigrants a chance of citizenship, finance President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall and bar the Homeland Security Department from taking children from immigrant families caught entering the U.S. illegally.
House Speaker Paul Ryan says the measure is “a great consensus bill” but Democrats call it “punitive.”