House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) told reporters on Thursday that conservatives will withhold their vote on the Farm bill until they receive a vote on the President Donald Trump-endorsed Goodlatte immigration bill.
The House continues to move through procedural hurdles to vote on the Farm bill, which serves as the last must-pass piece of legislation before the October spending bill this week. Chairman Meadows told reporters on Thursday that his caucus will not support the Farm bill until they have a chance to vote on the Goodlatte immigration bill.
Meadows said after a House Freedom Caucus meeting on Thursday afternoon:
I’ve called [House] leadership from in there and expressed that our concern is that we continue to talk about immigration and we obviously do not agree with some of our moderate colleagues on the discharge petition to deal with immigration, however, we agree that we need to deal with it. We were promised many, many months ago that we would vote on Goodlatte. We think that it’s important that we have a vote on Goodlatte and at this point, we’re not able to convince any of our members to go from no to yes on the Farm bill and so we will have further discussions leadership, but at this point, there is no deal.
Twenty-two establishment Republicans have signed a discharge petition to force a House floor vote on an illegal alien amnesty bill. If 25 Republicans and 193 Democrats sign the petition, the bipartisan coalition can force a House vote on amnesty legislation. The House Freedom Caucus opposes the amnesty immigration bill but hope to get a floor vote on the President Trump-endorsed Goodlatte immigration bill.
The Goodlatte proposal would end chain migration, eliminate the diversity lottery program, fund the southern border wall, and offer renewable work permits for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) illegal aliens.
Rep. Meadows revealed that they have “enough” votes to tank the Farm bill should it come it to a floor vote this week.
Congressman Meadows then suggested that America needs to vote on legislation that would build a wall on the United States’ southern border.
We believe that we have a deal with this immigration deal. You’ve all been covering the immigration issue, people back home want us to deal with the immigration issue and yet here we are still not dealing the immigration issue. The time is now. I believe that even our leadership agrees that the time is now. Let’s go ahead and do that; we don’t have an impending deadline for the Farm bill. Honestly it doesn’t expire until September I can you that my farmers want to deal with immigration and the Farm bill both.
“Our Caucus was very supportive of continuing conversations with the leadership but at this point, there are not enough votes to pass the Farm bill,” the North Carolina congressman added.
Rep. Meadows emphasized, “I believe that the vast majority of our members believe that we should have a vote on immigration before we have a vote on the Farm bill.”
Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Thursday that he and other conservatives continue to wait for Speaker Paul Ryan to stop the illegal alien discharge petition.
Chairman Meadows disputed arguments that the Freedom Caucus preferred immigration bill, the Goodlatte bill, could not pass through Congress. Meadows says that a deal with moderate Republicans could happen in the near future.
I think it is. I can tell you that I came out of a meeting with moderates and RSC [Republican Study Committee] members and I think that we are extremely close on finding a bill that gets to 218 and actually could get to 270, maybe even 300 votes in the House and then we can send it over to the Senate. We need to be serious about it we’re willing to stay tonight through the weekend to negotiate and get it done. It’s time that we actually provide action.
Meadows concluded, “It is critically important to our farmers, it is critically important to our timber industry – more importantly, it’s more important to every American that we finally get something and address this problem.”