The Senate has passed a bipartisan immigration overhaul bill that Trump called “historic,” and it could be the first step in moving on from a GOP leadership feud over how to make the U.S. more competitive.
The legislation is expected to be approved in the House this week.
But the House, which is controlled by Republicans, has been working on its own version of the legislation.
The bill has been delayed by the Senate over disagreements on how to address immigration, with Democrats insisting that the House would have to pass its own bill.
The GOP is expected next week to begin debate on its version of legislation, which it has long sought to pass through a bipartisan process.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Addison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP says they’ll vote to renew Kavanaugh probe if Rosenstein exits 9:50 A.M. ET | Senators vow to support Kavanaugh in hearing MORE (R-Ky.) and Majority Whip John Cornyn John CornignoJohn CornynGOP loses big on Kavanaugh nomination in Iowa, but it’s still unclear if Trump will be re-elected The Hill’s Morning Report — Kavanaugh, Kavanaugh to testify Thursday as GOP senators face off MORE (Tex.) have signaled that they will work with Democrats on the legislation to pass it, but Democrats are still resisting that plan, insisting that they need to win over enough Republican senators in order to pass a measure.
GOP lawmakers say they need at least three Republicans to back their bill, but they are facing pressure from conservatives to get more Republicans to sign on to it.
“If we can get the votes in there, we’re going to pass the bill,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer John Jeffrey SchumerBiden: Kavanaugh will not be confirmed until FBI investigates ‘every angle’ of Kavanaugh story Comey: The ‘good FBI’ that Trump spoke of is in disarray MORE (D-N.Y.) told reporters Wednesday.
The White House and Senate Democrats also say they are working with House Speaker Paul Ryan Paul Davis RyanHouse passes resolution approving federal funding for border wall President Trump and son signal support for McCarthy as GOP seeks to pass immigration bill MORE (Wis.) to secure a bipartisan agreement on the House-passed bill, as well as House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte Robert (Bob) William GoodlattyHouse passes immigration bill Trump signs DHS funding bill MORE and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady Kevin Patrick BradyTrump and son sign $1.9 trillion defense bill, GOP says House GOP should ‘be proud’ of Gorsuch’s confirmation MORE (Texas).
“We’ve been working closely with House Democrats, but I would say, I’m optimistic,” Brady said Wednesday.
We’ll have more information tomorrow.
But we’ve got to get the Republicans on board, because if we can’t get them on board today, I think we can have a successful outcome.”
Republicans also hope to pass their bill in a few days, though it will take time to complete the process, given the Senate is set to adjourn until April 11.
The House is expected in early April to return to session.
The Senate is expected on Tuesday to begin debating the legislation, with some Democrats already questioning whether it is needed to move forward.
Trump on Wednesday dismissed the House’s plan as “a joke” and said that the GOP should focus on passing a bipartisan bill instead.
“The Democrats will tell you it’s a joke, because they’re not going to do it,” he said.
“They’ll say, ‘No, we want to get it done,’ and then they’ll go home and they’ll be doing nothing.”
Trump also said he thinks it’s “a total disgrace” that House Republicans are working on their own version and will be voting on their version at the end of April.
“I think they’ll come back to us and say, `We got it, you guys just got us,’ and they’re going home and doing nothing,” Trump said.
The president added that the bill is “terribly, horribly unfair” to immigrants.
“Nobody wants to do that.
And I think it’s the most stupid thing you could do.
It’s not fair.
It should be done by Congress,” he added.