On Wednesday, June 27, the House of Representatives put a final nail in the coffin of immigration reform compromise when the Goodlatte-Ryan bill went down to a big defeat by a vote of 121 to 301.

There are suggestions that when the House returns from the July 4th break they will take up a narrower bill that is limited to dealing with child-parent separation. Some members desire and have been promised, a vote on a visa program for agriculture and other temporary workers. It is unclear how extensive those bills could be, whether they would be combined, and whether there are even enough votes.

The Goodlatte-Ryan bill had evolved from an earlier Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WS) proposal that was an attempt to craft a moderate bill as an incentive to get nearly two dozen Republicans to back away from their attempt to force a vote through a House discharge petion. The discharge would have set up a vote on four different bills with one likely a version of the DREAMERS Act.

Speaker Ryan’s immigration compromise was to have been voted on Thursday June 21, along with the earlier Congressman Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) bill that was seen as a conservative bill. The Goodlatte bill failed to get a majority with only 193 Republicans supporting it with some Republicans and all Democrats voting no. The final vote was 193 to 231. In between the President took multiple sides on the various bills with a word of support just before the Wednesday vote on the Goodlatte-Ryan bill.

If there is not a bill to address family separation then the next confrontation may come at the start of FY 2019, October 1. The President has on occasion said that a government shutdown may be needed to get his $25 billion payment for a border wall. In a meeting earlier last week with key Republican leaders on appropriations he was urged to compromise with Democrats to get appropriations through.

About the Author:

John Sciamanna is CWLA's Vice President of Public Policy.

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