GOP leadership dodges bipartisan effort to force vote on DACA

GOP leadership dodges bipartisan effort to force vote on DACA

June 13 (UPI) — House Speaker Paul Ryan has dodged an effort by a group of dissenting Republicans to bypass leadership and force a vote on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Ryan announced late Tuesday the House will consider two competing bills next week that will deal with the DACA issue — a conservative version Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and a bipartisan version that’s still in the works.

The move stops an intra-party conflict by dodging a bipartisan discharge petition from Democrats and moderate Republicans, which sought to oppose GOP House leadership and force votes on four immigration bills.

The petition, led by California Rep. Jeff Denham, a moderate Republican, fell just two votes short of acquiring the 218 needed to force a vote.

“The House will consider two bills next week that will avert the discharge petition and resolve the border security and immigration issues,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said.

The votes effectively kill the discharge petition — a loss for GOP moderates and Democrats working to save the Obama-era DACA program. President Donald Trump’s administration has moved to terminate the program, which protects undocumented immigrants taken to the United States as children.

In an agreement between conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus and moderate Republicans, a vote on the Goodlatte bill would end the discharge petition.

Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Florida Republican who sponsored the petition, said moderates will continue to pursue the discharge efforts.

“It is vital our colleagues remain committed to the discharge petition,” Curbelo said in a statement.

“We must and will keep up the pressure.”

Supporters of the discharge petition have until July 23 to force a vote on the issue.