Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Friday that the Ryan amnesty bill “has far less support” than the Donald Trump-endorsed Goodlatte immigration bill.
The immigration bill sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) failed to pass through the House on Thursday. However, the bill did receive 193 votes despite little whip support from House Republican leadership.
Rep. Barletta said that he hopes that the Goodlatte bill serves as the standard for future immigration bills, adding that he believes that the Ryan immigration bill will not get as much support.
“It was more than I expected to see in spite of the fact that we were told that it didn’t have enough votes to pass,” the Pennsylvania congressman said. “It wasn’t that many off. I would hope that we would look at that bill as the one that we try to move forward on, rather than the compromise bill, which has far less support.”
Paul Ryan canceled the Friday vote for his compromise immigration bill and rescheduled the vote to next week. Former Freedom Caucus chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) said this week in an interview with Breitbart News that the Ryan amnesty bill was inconsistent with the Trump election mandate.
Congressman Barletta hopes to defeat Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in the 2018 midterm election. Barletta was also one of the congressmen to endorse Donald Trump during the Republican presidential primaries.
Barletta continued, “The American people have spoken loud and clear in the last election, and it was the centerpiece of President Trump’s campaign. However, Washington is still tone deaf. The American people want the borders secured, illegal immigration stopped, chain migration stopped, they want to put an end to sanctuary cities, they want E-Verify to be mandatory, why would Republicans object to that?”
Rep. Barletta then cautioned that the Ryan compromise bill does provide an amnesty of illegal aliens before securing the border with a wall. Barletta explained, “The reason is that there’s no guarantee that the wall will be built, is that the Democrats take control, they can just change the law and pass DACA and stop funding the wall. There is no guarantee that the wall will be built in the meantime; it’s amnesty again. The DACA issue came up when the point was made that those children who came here at no fault of their own, and they should not be punished, and in Goodlatte, we were willing to address that. It’s not only going to take care of the children who came through the fault of their own, but it’s also going to reward those whose fault it was; their parents who took them here illegally.”
The Pennsylvania congressman added that “Chain migration is a threat to the American worker, it depresses their wages and brings in low-wage, low-skilled competition who makes the American people work for less. Why would the people settle for that?”
Congressman Raul Labrador (R-ID) lamented that the House leadership’s push for the Ryan amnesty bill compared to the Goodlatte bill is “exactly what’s broken with Congress.” The Idaho conservative said that the Goodlatte bill “should have been pushed.”
Labrador continued, suggesting that the “leadership team that decided that a committee was not wise enough to get 218” votes to pass through the House. Labrador said that the leadership “meddled with the bill.”
Rep. Barletta echoed Labrador’s sentiment, contending that despite his leadership on tackling illegal immigration, he had little input in the current immigration debate.
Barletta said, “They should have learned something from the Gang of Eight, they should not bring in hand-picked people to negotiate and then create a bill and bring it to the floor and expect everyone to support it – just doesn’t work, especially with an issue like immigration. I don’t know anyone that has dealt with illegal immigration as long as I have personally, and I had no input in either bill. The meeting we had yesterday, which was after we called off the vote, might have been more beneficial prior to putting the bill together.”