WASHINGTON — The House will vote next week on two Republican-written immigration bills, a top GOP aide said late Tuesday, as leaders sought to move past an election-year civil war they worry will wound the party’s prospects in November.

AshLee Strong, spokeswoman for Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., announced the decision after a bargaining session among leaders and top conservative and moderate GOP lawmakers ended without agreement on a single package all sides could support. It was unclear whether either bill would clear the House, but both of the party’s factions would be able to show voters they backed legislation containing their priorities on the divisive issue.

For weeks, the party’s two wings have hunted ways to provide a route to citizenship for “Dreamer” immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children and also bolster border security. They have failed to find middle ground.

The House ended Tuesday’s session as moderates fell short of their stated goal of having 218 signatures — a majority of the chamber — on a petition that would force votes on other immigration bills that GOP leaders oppose. They had said they would do that by Tuesday, which would have triggered those votes later this month.

Instead, the centrists accumulated the names of all 193 Democrats but just 23 Republicans — two short of the number required — after party leaders’ efforts against them proved effective.

GOP leaders have strongly opposed the rarely used petition tactic, asserting those votes would probably produce a liberal-leaning bill backed by Democrats and just a smattering of Republicans. They’ve actively lobbied other moderates to not sign the petition, and in talks bargainers have sought legislation both sides could back or alternatively a way for each faction to get a vote on legislation they could support.

Strong said the decision to consider two bills will avert the …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News

      

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