House GOP leaders in a surprise move Thursday night pushed back a vote on a compromise immigration bill until next week, underscoring the difficulty they’re facing in winning votes — and how the stakes have been raised by the crisis at the border.
The decision to delay the vote, which had already been postponed from Thursday to Friday, followed a two-hour conference meeting designed to brief members on the measure’s contents.
Lawmakers, many of them worried about backing a measure that conservatives have described as providing amnesty to some undocumented workers, had complained that they didn’t have enough time to read and digest the nearly 300-page bill rolled out late Tuesday night.
Lawmakers leaving the meeting said the bill will need to be changed even more if it is to have any hope of winning passage.
“We’re going to keep working — there are good ideas being discussed. We’re trying to see if we can come to a consensus,” Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) told reporters. “So there are still complicated issues we’re working through, but we’re going to keep trying.”
Republicans face pressure to get something done because of the week-long crisis caused by the White House’s “zero tolerance” policy on the border, which resulted in roughly 2,000 children being separated from their parents.