The House Republican immigration overhaul dangled precariously Thursday, imperiled by stubborn differences between conservative and moderate factions—and by President Trump's running commentary about a bill he only half-heartedly supported and then suggested would never become law. Republican leaders were twice forced to postpone final voting, first until Friday and then punting it to next week, as negotiators made a last-ditch push for support, the AP reports. They were trying to persuade colleagues to seize the moment and tackle immigration problems by approving the bill, which includes $25 billion for Trump's border wall and a path to citizenship for young immigrants who have lived in the US illegally since childhood. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana said Thursday evening they would keep trying to find consensus on the legislation.
The House voted 231-193 to defeat a more conservative version that would have authorized border wall funds but not a path to citizenship for the young immigrants. All Democrats and 41 Republicans opposed the legislation. Rather than help push the compromise bill to the finish line, Trump's mixed messages reinforced his role as an unreliable partner for House Republicans in the immigration debate. First, he had distanced himself from the negotiations. Then, he interjected that he didn't like what they came up with. Then he reversed course and said he would back the compromise. But then he tweeted Thursday that whatever passed in the House was surely dead in the Senate: "What is the purpose of the House doing good immigration bills when you need 9 votes by Democrats in the Senate, and the Dems are only looking to Obstruct (which they feel is good for them in the Mid-Terms)."