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House Immigration Votes in Question After Trump Weighs In
Whip count delayed after president tells Fox News he would not sign the emerging deal

Chief Deputy Whip Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., says GOP leaders are seeking clarity on the president’s position on immigration legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican leaders are delaying until next week their plans to whip a compromise immigration bill as they seek clarity on President Donald Trump’s position on the measure, according to Chief Deputy Whip Patrick T. McHenry.

“House Republicans are not going to take on immigration without the support and endorsement of President Trump,” the North Carolina Republican said.

Ryan: No Guarantee Immigration Compromise Will Pass
Bill is still best shot at getting something into law, speaker says

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., won’t guarantee Republicans’ compromise immigration bill will pass the House. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There is no guarantee that a compromise immigration bill House Republicans are finalizing for floor consideration next week will pass, Speaker Paul D. Ryan acknowledged Thursday.

“I’m not going to predict what the whip’s going to be,” he said when asked whether he’d bring the bill to the floor if the whip count comes up short or continue working to get more votes for it.

Moderates Punt on Immigration Petition as GOP Goals Drift
House plans to vote on 2 proposals next week, but compromise remains elusive

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., arrives at the office of Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday for a meeting on immigration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In the month since moderate Republicans launched a discharge petition to force the House to take up immigration legislation to protect so-called Dreamers, they’ve continuously moved the goal posts on what it is they want to achieve. On Tuesday, they shifted the target again.

The moderates have effectively agreed to drop their discharge petition on the “queen of the hill” rule — which would set up votes on four immigration measures, with the one getting the most votes above a majority prevailing — even though there’s not yet agreement on alternative legislation that can pass the House. 

Immigration Discharge Petition Deadline Arrives
3 remaining signatures expected to be added Tuesday, but negotiations on alternative measure to continue

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., says an immigration discharge petition will get to the required 218 signatures without an agreement on separate immigration legislation House Republicans can pass. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The immigration discharge petition signature deadline has arrived. All signs point to the petition reaching the required 218 signatures by the end of the day, but negotiations are continuing in an effort to block it from forcing a vote.

The discharge petition, led by moderate Republicans, is designed to bypass House leadership and force a floor vote on a series of controversial immigration bills to protect so-called Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. 

Romney, Once the Face of ‘Never Trump,’ Embraces the President
Now running for Utah open Senate seat, former presidential nominee predicts Trump will win in 2020

Former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort Conference Center at National Harbor, Md., on Friday, March 15, 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By all indications, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is now fully aboard the Trump train as he prepares for the GOP primary for an open Senate seat in Utah.

In 2016, Romney called President Donald Trump a “con man” and “a fake.” But at the opening remarks of his annual mountainside retreat for business leaders and politicos on Thursday, the former Massachusetts governor predicted Trump would “solidly” win a second term in 2020 after securing the GOP nomination, The Associated Press reported.

House Republicans No Closer to Immigration Deal After Pivotal Meeting
Impasse signals discharge petition will soon get final signatures needed for June 25 vote

Reps. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., center, and Jeff Denham, R-Calif., are leading a discharge petition that is expected to soon have 218 signatures amid continued GOP disagreement on immigration. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans spent two hours Thursday morning talking through their differences on immigration but left the pivotal meeting no closer to a legislative solution.

The continued discord all but guarantees a discharge petition will get the 218 signatures by early next week, which would trigger a June 25 vote on a queen of the hill rule setting up a series of votes on existing immigration bills that also lack unified GOP support.

Paul Ryan Siding With the ‘Deep State,’ GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz Says
Murmurs of revolt around speaker, conservative Florida congressman said

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., criticized Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., on Wednesday for defending the “deep state.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz fired a shot across Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s bow Wednesday, claiming Ryan was siding with the “deep state,” the FBI and  the Justice Department over congressional Republicans trying to conduct oversight on those agencies.

At issue was the speaker’s defense of the FBI earlier in the day for pursuing information from an informant in President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign about Russian interference and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Ryan Backs Gowdy in Blow to President Trump’s ‘Spygate’ Claims
FBI agents should ‘run every lead down’

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan backed GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy’s statements last week that the FBI acted properly when it pursued information from an informant in President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign about potential Russian interference in the election, further undercutting Trump’s so-called Spygate theory.

“Chairman Gowdy’s initial assessment is accurate,” Ryan said at the House GOP’s weekly leadership press conference Wednesday. “I want to make sure that we run every lead down and make sure we get final answers to these questions.”

Sometimes, the Dissidents Do Leadership a Solid
As immigration debate shows, rare House discharge petitions can force the majority out of a self-made jam

A discharge petition filed by GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo has put pressure on his own party’s leaders to strike a deal on immigration — but they may not hold it against him, Hawkings writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It sounds like something that might be overheard at the congressional appliance dealership: Power abhors a vacuum, especially when there’s a political mess overdue for cleanup, and a great tool for fixing all that is a discharge petition.

It’s also an apt summation of what’s going on now with the Republican catharsis over immigration — which is notably similar to what went down three years ago, during the last House majority leadership interregnum, and also to another fabled GOP rift back in 2002.

Analysis: Transactional Trump Penalizes Allies, Woos Foes — And Rankles Members
GOP senator to president: ‘Europe, Canada and Mexico are not China’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in October 2017. Since then, their relationship has soured amid trade disputes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Foreign policy, for Donald Trump, is based largely on a belief that being tougher on America’s allies and more lenient on its foes will produce better results. But the president’s approach rankles both Republican and Democratic members.

“We’re being respected again. We’re being respected abroad,” Trump declared Friday. “And we are restoring our wealth at home. It’s about time.”