Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, told Fox News Sunday that President Trump is “still 100 percent” behind the House Republicans’ immigration plan to be voted on this week.
McCaul said he spoke with the White House Saturday about the issue.
Two bills — one more compromised — were set for voting this past Thursday. The House rejected the more hardline iteration — known informally as the Goodlatte bill — and then rescheduled the other (see more about that in my article here).
As of Friday, Trump didn’t seem invested in either, calling the entire process a waste of time:
Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
(For more about The Donald’s view of a coming red wave, read here.)
In lieu of said wave overwhelming Congress, Trump insisted the GOP must remove the Senate filibuster (read more on that here) in order to get anything done on immigration.
Despite Trump’s tweeted lack of optimism (which, I suppose, isn’t mutually exclusive to “support”), McCaul, who is a co-author of the more moderate bill and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, explained that his package adheres to Trump’s four pillars of immigration (laid out here).
When asked why Republicans can’t get a single Democratic vote (as was the case Thursday) — and apparently alluding to the issue of family separation at the border — McCaul called upon unity:
“I think our family needs to come together.”
McCaul expressed disapproval of President Trump’s executive order toward the law-designated removal of children from their imprisoned, criminal parents (which I cover here), but he asserted the blame lies with legislators:
“I would fault the U.S. Congress, which has the powers to change the laws. We have to get this done or we’ll be seeing this scene play out over and over again.”
McCaul’s optimism is fine, but how likely is it that Democrats will approve a more moderate bill, when literally none of them voted in favor of the submission Thursday? They’re clearly uninterested. They were successful at landing family separation at the feet of Trump, who then affirmed their accusation with his executive order; the pressure’s off, and Democrats can just coast on through to November elections, keen on riding a wave which — they believe — will be decidedly blue. Until then, the White House has no leverage and the GOP looks simply ineffective. And in this case, you can just a book by its cover.
there is a looming possible disruption: former Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bessert doesn’t believe Trump’s executive order will last (I detail that here). If Bessert is right, then Trump will look like a (relatively) good guy for signing the order, but Congress will once again have pressure to change the law, which will expedite an immigration bill. Unless, of course, the media decide to stop pushing family separation once it isn’t good for the Democrats. Of that, I’d say chances are great.
What’s your bet? How do you think this is gonna all turn out? Sound off in the Comments section below.
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