WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump told Fox & Friends Friday that he was not interested in signing moderate immigration legislation that didn’t fund and build a wall, along with other border security measures. That sort of threw a wrench in the gears of congress that was lining up to push a bill that appealed to the more moderate Republican senators (like Thom Tillis), throwing the efforts into disarray.
“I’m looking at both of them. I certainly won’t sign the more moderate one. I need a bill that gives this country tremendous border security. I have to have that,” said the president. “We have to have the wall. If we don’t have the wall. There’s no bill.”
Trump’s remarks confounded everyone following the immigration debate. “Both of them?” That sounded like the Republican leadership compromise bill and the Goodlatte bill. “Won’t sign the more moderate one?” Well, the President seemed to refer to the new leadership bill. That measure wasn’t as “conservative” as the Goodlatte bill. After all, it was indeed more “moderate,” because, well, it was designed to court the votes of moderate Republicans.”
When are these Establishment fixtures going to learn that the typical watered down, amnesty-lite immigration reform approach is not what the American people want, or what the country deserves.
North Carolina congressmen are all in the mix, too, coming in on both sides of the issue.
“”I’m not sure the President is aware of everything that’s in the bill,” said Rep. Tom Cole. R-Okla., about the GOP compromise measure. “I think there was probably some confusion.”
But House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., didn’t agree with Cole’s assessment.
“I think (Trump) understands what’s in the bill and not in the bill,” said Meadows.
“We’re f—ed if that’s the case,” lamented a senior House Republican leadership aide, perplexed that Mr. Trump may have thrown his party under the bus.
Chief Deputy Whip Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., told reporters that leaders were “seeking clarity” from the White House about the president’s comments. He noted that Trump’s remarks could cause GOP leaders to postpone a so-called “whip” of the bill, where they try to assess the level of support for legislation. Such counts can signal a green light to the leadership to forge ahead with a bill. The whip count can also reveal potential problem spots, indicating a bill requires more massaging.
“House Republicans are not going to take on immigration without the support an endorsement of the president,” declared McHenry.”
Well, then maybe congress should actually run with bills that comport to what President Trump has consistently demanded as part of immigration reform ever since he was on the campaign trail in 2016.
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