More Republicans sign DACA petition after Ryan says not to behind closed doors

Two more Republicans signed on to a measure that would force an immigration vote in the House just hours after Speake...

Posted: May 17, 2018 9:59 AM
Updated: May 17, 2018 9:59 AM

Two more Republicans signed on to a measure that would force an immigration vote in the House just hours after Speaker Paul Ryan urged his colleagues not to in a closed-door meeting Wednesday.

The momentum of the petition, paired with threats from conservatives to cause problems if the effort continues to move, prompted House leadership to summon both key moderate and conservative members to meet in Ryan's offices with the full GOP leadership team Wednesday evening. But the issue remained far from resolved.

The signatures of New York Rep. John Katko and Michigan Rep. David Trott on Wednesday brought the total to 20 Republicans supporting the move, five short of the number needed to force a vote if all Democrats sign on as well.

The pitch from Ryan to his party colleagues at a meeting that morning as well as the evening huddles, as recounted by multiple lawmakers leaving the meeting, came as he faces an uprising from moderate GOP members who say time is running out for him to come up with a solution on immigration, adding they are tired of waiting for action.

Texas Rep. Bill Flores paraphrased the speaker as telling Republicans in the morning to "quit messing around with the discharge petition" and that it's "not a path to success."

"He just said a discharge petition is not a path to success if you really want to do something on immigration," Flores told reporters.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy also weighed in. A source familiar with his remarks said McCarthy was quite serious in warning the conference about the effects the discharge petition could have on the midterms. Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo said he didn't explicitly say the effort could threaten the House majority but did say "that it's important for us to work as a team."

Other members and Flores said Ryan told his colleagues that he met with President Donald Trump the day before and that leadership and the White House were working on a plan that could ultimately pass both chambers of Congress and get the President's signature. But he did not offer specifics, the lawmakers added.

A group of moderate Republicans are backing a plan to bypass GOP leaders by forcing a floor vote on four competing bills to preserve the Obama-era DACA program, which protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children. Trump has decided to end the program, though it's currently tied up in the courts.

The move, called a discharge petition, now has 20 Republican supporters. When Katko and Trott signed during the first vote series of the day -- which is the main opportunity that lawmakers have to sign by hand the petition kept on the House floor -- Republican petition backers, California's Jeff Denham and Curbelo, were seen walking the floor, talking to members and each other.

Both moderates and conservatives leaving the speaker's offices in the evening said they had "productive" and good meetings, which included the top five House Republicans including Ryan, McCarthy and Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

But both also insisted that nothing in the meetings changed their efforts. Moderates are still pursuing the discharge petition and conservatives are still threatening an unrelated farm bill to push for their preferred immigration bill, a hardline measure that lacks the votes to pass the House.

Moderates included Reps. Denham; Curbelo; David Valdeo, R-California; Fred Upton, R-Michigan; and Will Hurd, R-Texas. Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart stopped by but couldn't stay because he had committee obligations.

The conservatives meeting were Freedom Caucus Members Reps. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina; Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; and Scott Perry, R-Pennsylvania.

"It was a conversation, I'm not going to divulge all the details ... but it was productive," Curbelo said. "Clearly we have had a positive impact on our leadership and this institution because now this issue is being taken seriously and people are thinking through how something can be achieved."

"The next step is figuring out what the next step is," Meadows said.

Leadership called the meetings, members said.

"The meeting was prompted when we got number 20 today and they know we're continuing to make upward progress," Upton said.

Ryan in his weekly news conference earlier similarly did not offer specifics on the alternative immigration plan he is developing with the White House, saying his team is "working on it."

"Obviously we do not agree with discharge petitions. We think they're a big mistake -- they dis-unify our majority," Ryan said. "We want to advance something that has a chance of going into law where the President would support it."

Inside his earlier meeting with the full conference, Ryan mostly spoke in broad strokes about the need to balance border security and other immigration policies, said Michigan Rep. John Moolenaar.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314509

Reported Deaths: 7247
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21626259
Hinds20359415
Harrison17934309
Rankin13634278
Jackson13447246
Madison10099217
Lee9980174
Jones8381163
Forrest7683152
Lauderdale7191241
Lowndes6401147
Lamar623086
Lafayette6200118
Washington5339134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462798
Panola4588107
Pearl River4512146
Marshall4443103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420772
Monroe4113133
Union411076
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3968110
Hancock379386
Leflore3497125
Sunflower336090
Tate334084
Pike3325105
Scott315973
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311669
Itawamba300477
Copiah297065
Coahoma295479
Simpson295288
Tippah288768
Adams286882
Prentiss279760
Marion269280
Leake268373
Wayne262641
Grenada261487
Covington259681
George248048
Newton246861
Winston227281
Tishomingo226967
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw207857
Holmes189173
Clay185454
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178841
Clarke178080
Calhoun170832
Yalobusha164338
Smith162434
Walthall133945
Greene130633
Lawrence128624
Montgomery126942
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83823
Quitman80916
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67331
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 532895

Reported Deaths: 11001
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson771431528
Mobile41089808
Madison34837505
Tuscaloosa25810454
Montgomery24355588
Shelby23730249
Baldwin21191309
Lee15892171
Calhoun14522316
Morgan14324279
Etowah13861353
Marshall12250223
Houston10581281
Elmore10060205
Limestone9986151
Cullman9705194
St. Clair9702243
Lauderdale9441242
DeKalb8846187
Talladega8255176
Walker7246277
Autauga6938108
Jackson6815112
Blount6694137
Colbert6310134
Coffee5524119
Dale4850111
Russell443238
Chilton4308112
Franklin426282
Covington4136118
Tallapoosa4039152
Escambia393977
Chambers3578123
Dallas3557152
Clarke351161
Marion3130101
Pike311377
Lawrence300798
Winston275673
Bibb261564
Geneva251477
Marengo249664
Pickens234761
Barbour231756
Hale223277
Butler216469
Fayette212562
Henry189044
Cherokee184745
Randolph181742
Monroe178040
Washington167639
Macon159950
Clay156857
Crenshaw152757
Cleburne149141
Lamar142935
Lowndes139053
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110629
Coosa107928
Perry107826
Sumter104832
Greene92534
Choctaw61124
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