Posted on December 6, 2018

Goodlatte: House Leadership Blocked Trump-Backed Immigration Reform

Neil Munro, Breitbart, December 5, 2018

The House GOP leadership is responsible for blocking a pro-American immigration reform package which was backed by President Donald Trump, a top House chairman said Tuesday.

The GOP leadership let the House immigration reform die in June by allowing a critical bloc of GOP legislators to split their votes between two rival reform bills, said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the retiring chairman of the House committee on the judiciary.

“The strategy of having two options really let people have an off-ramp — they could vote for the more conservative bill and against the other, or vote for the second bill and not the first,” Goodlatte said, adding:

That is just not a good strategy and I complained about it at the time. I said ‘You’ve got to narrow this down to one bill and then work really hard to get the members to vote for that one bill.’

Goodlatte’s statement matches the June statement by Rep. Jim Jordan, who said: “If our leadership had put the same whip effort behind that immigration legislation, Chairman Goodlatte’s legislation, it would have passed.” {snip}

Retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan made the decision to create the rival bill that blocked Goodlatte’s bill.


The Goodlatte bill would have cut legal immigration by ending the visa lottery, providing a work permit amnesty to just the 700,000 illegals who are registered in the DACA program, and ensuring deeper immigration cuts, said Rosemary Jenks, policy director of NumbersUSA. It also included much careful language to hinder fraud and to prevent pro-migration judges from hijacking the bill’s limited amnesty for their own goals, said Jenks, who opposed the bigger Ryan bill.

Ryan’s support for the Curbelo bill allowed 41 GOP legislators to vote no on the Goodlatte bill when it came up for a June vote.

On June 14, the House blocked Goodlatte’s H.R. 4760, the “Securing America’s Future Act,” with a vote tally of 193 to 231. No Democrats voted for the reform.

“If it has been the only bill offered, it might have passed,” Goodlatte said. “We were 20, 21 votes short,” said Goodlatte. The [bill] would have passed “if we had gotten half of [the GOP ‘no’ voters] to join with us, we would have gotten there,” he said.

The Ryan/Curbelo bill was defeated on June 27 when 112 GOP legislators voted against it. Only 121 GOP legislators voted for Ryan’s bill.

But Ryan’s two-vote strategy successfully blocked the Trump-backed Goodlatte reform bill.

In February, the Senate’s GOP leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell, used a Ryan-like strategy to block Trump’s “Four Pillars” reforms.

McConnell scheduled a debate where legislators were allowed to vote on four rival immigration bills. This complex vote allowing a bloc of roughly 15 business-first Senators to disguise their votes against Trump’s reform by voting against amnesties pushed by Democrats.