Political News

Republicans push vote for key immigration bill into next week

Posted June 21, 2018 7:00 p.m. EDT

— Republicans -- in a last minute decision -- decided to postpone a vote on a comprehensive immigration bill for the second time in less than a day, a sign of the struggles leaders are having to unite the conference on such a contentious topic.

An aide told CNN that the plan is for members to work over the weekend to try and craft a bill that can gain more support next week.

"There's active negotiations," said Rep. Joe Barton, a Republican from Texas. "They are just going to try and take (it) and add a few things to it to get another 20 votes."

For days, aides and members had been trying to tamp down expectations for the compromise vote, noting that the most important thing was to put a bill on the floor to assuage concerns of House moderates rather than actually pass something, but the move Thursday night suggested that there was still more work to be done. And the optics became more complicated for leaders Thursday when the conservative immigration bill -- the one that members had said would not have the votes and shorthanded as the Goodlatte bill after Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia -- earned more votes than expected although it still failed.

The announcement that the vote was postponed came at the end of two-hour conference meeting where members went point by point through the massive immigration bill.

"I think the fact they're going through the bill section by section at 5:15 p.m. the day before the bill is going to be voted on is indicative of there is more work that needs to be done," Nevada Republican Rep. Mark Amodei said before the bill was postponed.