A group of slightly more than a dozen House Republicans trying to negotiate a sweeping immigration bill came closer Friday to agreement on some issues, like how to deal with the “Dreamer” population, but found new obstacles on other matters like border security and interior enforcement.
Despite progress in some areas, several negotiators noted the likelihood that a discharge petition that would force a series of votes on immigration bills that lack unified GOP support would get to the required 218 signatures Tuesday.
Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who filed the discharge petition, called it “a strong possibility.”
“I will be strongly encouraging members on Tuesday to sign the final signatures unless we have a written agreement,” said Rep. Jeff Denham, another moderate Republican pushing the discharge petition. “We do not have a written agreement today.”
The Californian has also said the written agreement would need to come with a date for a vote and assurances that it can pass the House.
Even if the discharge petition — which is for what is called a queen of the hill rule that would set up votes on four immigration bills, with the one with the most votes above a simple majority prevailing — gets to 218 signatures a vote would not be able to occur until June 25.
The negotiators can continue trying to reach an agreement before then that if successful would involve a procedural maneuver to turn off the discharge petition.
“For me, June 25 is the deadline,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said. “Whether they get 218 on Tuesday — I fully anticipate that they will — but that doesn’t mean that we can’t get a different deal and put it on the floor before June 25.”