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Farm bill prospects in US House clouded by immigration debate

18 May 2018, 05:08 | Taylor George

Rep. Mark Meadows: 'The Time Is Now' to Vote on Wall, Immigration Reform

GOP fights over crucial farm bill as lawmakers demand immigration vote first

"The vast majority of our members believe that we should have a vote on immigration before we have a vote on the farm bill", Meadows said. The invoice would permit the complete Home to debate as amendments a variety of proposals for DACA, together with Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte's "Securing America's Future Act". It includes a legislative renewal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, adds more border security and a border wall, ends the diversity lottery and visas for family members other than spouses and minor children, cracks down on sanctuary cities, and makes e-verify mandatory for businesses.

As they battle a revolt on their left flank, GOP leaders are additionally scuffling with Home conservatives over the farm invoice.

"I'm hopeful that we'll bring up bills on immigration first so that we can have those real discussions about what's in it and what is not in it before we have to move onto the farm bill", he said.

With farm subsidy programs expiring at the end of September, the Freedom Caucus believes the farm bill is the only must-pass piece of legislation they can use to extract concessions on immigration, which they believe is a related issue to the farm bill anyway.

The House Freedom Caucus is not the lone group pushing for an immigration vote. A band of moderate Republicans is also trying to force Ryan to bring up an immigration bill - one that would grant USA citizenship to some DREAMers, strengthen border security, and leave the legal immigration system as is.

Although Ryan has decried the effort, saying that discharge petitions "disunify our majority", as of Thursday 20 Republicans and two Democrats have signed onto the petition. If 218 of his colleagues sign it, there would be votes on all four immigration bills with the highest vote-getter proceeding to the Senate.

- RYAN AND HIS LEADERSHIP TEAM are in search of a deal to get around the discharge petition.

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"The GOP wants to cut $23 billion from child nutrition, veteran nutrition, the SNAP program, endangering a lifeline for hungry children, seniors, students", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said at a news conference on Thursday.

A minimum of 20 Home Republicans have now signed onto a petition to drive a freewheeling immigration debate within the Home, shifting reasonable Republicans towards the brink of driving a divisive subject to the Home ground - one GOP leaders favor to keep away from forward of the midterm elections. "We think they're a big mistake".

Since Democrats seem nearly unanimously against the farm bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) needs most Republicans to support it.

He also told reporters Thursday that he is working with Meadows on another option that might be narrower than the broad Goodlatte bill.

"Do we want to protect American farmers from unfair competition in the world, or do we not?" said Mr. Conaway, Texas Republican.

"That's why we met with the president, to advance a strategy that addresses the issues that our members have, the concerns they have, but doing it in a way where we actually have a process that can get a presidential signature, and not a presidential veto", Ryan said. "It's my belief that we need a narrow bill with a permanent fix for dreamers and border security".



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