Trump wrecks weeks of Republican work and says he won't sign immigration compromise bill

  • President Donald Trump said he would “certainly” not sign the Republican compromise bill on immigration.
  • Republicans had worked for weeks to cobble a bill together to stave off a discharge petition from moderate members.

President Donald Trump seems to have ended Republicans’ hopes of putting an immigration bill on his desk, dismissing a House GOP compromise bill as too moderate and something he would “certainly” not sign into law.

During an impromptu appearance on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” on Friday morning, Trump shot down the Republican plan, which took weeks of work and nearly overhauled the House floor schedule with a discharge petition.

“I’m looking at both of them,” Trump said of the two bills up for consideration. “I certainly wouldn’t sign the more moderate one. I need a bill that gives this country tremendous border security. I have to have that.”

Along with the Republican compromise bill, a conservative Goodlatte-McCaul bill is scheduled for consideration next week. While the two have a lot of similar details, the Goodlatte bill is unlikely to advance in the Senate, which shot down proposals in February that were far less conservative.

While both bills include the White House’s request for $US25 billion in additional border-security provisions, Trump added a sticking point that “if we don’t have the wall, there’s no bill.”

The compromise bill would also provide legal status for recipients and eligible recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; eliminate multiple visa programs including the diversity lottery; and allow US law enforcement to more easily deport unauthorised immigrants.

The comments by Trump effectively end the compromise bill’s chances with Republicans.

House Speaker Paul Ryan was still hesitant about the compromise bill’s future after successfully staving off the discharge petition.

“Our members felt very, very passionate about having votes on policies they care about, and that is what we are doing,” Ryan said Thursday. “So we’re bringing legislation that’s been carefully crafted and negotiated to the floor. We won’t guarantee passage.”

But Ryan told the GOP conference in a closed-door meeting on Monday that Trump was on board with the effort to find a compromise bill. It now appears that is not so.

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