President Donald Trump had previously argued that efforts at passing an immigration reform bill in the House were futile because any measure would face grim prospects at best in the Senate.
The House delivered a massive defeat to a Republican immigration bill Wednesday, despite President Donald Trump’s last-minute push for the legislation and weeks of negotiation between GOP lawmakers.
The 121-301 vote came amid opposition from all Democrats and dozens of Republicans, who feared backing a bill that could be tagged as “amnesty” by the right — even though it closely aligned with Trump’s immigration proposal and received an all-caps Twitter endorsement from the president earlier in the day.
House Republicans said before the vote that it was too little, too late.
If Trump really wanted this bill to pass, senior GOP sources said, he should have tweeted his endorsement earlier instead of repeatedly sending mixed signals to the party. Just last week, he said Republicans were “wasting their time” trying to pass legislation.
Indeed, the president’s tweet, which came about five hours before the vote, marked an end to an exhausting 10 days for Republicans who tried to discern how Trump felt about their bill. The proposal echoed Trump’s own legislative framework to fund a border wall with Mexico, curb legal immigration and offer a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.
But some on the far-right panned the idea of providing a path to citizenship for participants in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. And Trump has been unwilling to take them on, changing his mind over and over such that many Republicans told leaders they couldn’t take the risky vote.