Today Congressional Republicans Proved Once Again That They Can't Govern-- Just Complain

I don't think anyone really thought Goodlatte's extreme hard-core anti-immigrant bill (HR 4760) had a chance of passing this afternoon. And it didn't. With every single Democrat and 41 Republicans voting NO, it went down 231-193. It was interesting that most of the Republicanos with tough reelection battles looming voted against it. They know which way the wind is blowing. This were some of the frightened Republicans who voted NO:

Mike Coffman (CO-06)
Barbara Comstock (VA-10)
Carlos Curbelo (FL-26)
Jeff Denham (CA-10)
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25)
Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01)
Will Hurd (TX-23)
John Katko (NY-24)
Peter King (NY-02)
Steve Knight (CA-25)
MacArthur (NJ-03)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05)
Erik Paulsen (MN-03)
Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48)
Pete Roskam (IL-06)
Steve Russell (OK-05)
Elise Stefanik (NY-21)
Fred Upton (MI-06)
David Valadao (CA-21)

As Duwayne Gregory-- the progressive Democrat running for the South Shore Long Island seat Peter King occupies-- just told me, "Republican members of Congress can only grow a spine when they feel their re-election will be directly impacted. Peter King has not shown the leadership that his district and quite frankly the country deserves from a longstanding member of the Republican majority in Congress. Our country doesn’t need members in Congress who do the right thing only when they feel they elections are threatened. We need leaders who will stand up with courage and conviction to do what is best for our country regardless of the consequences."

The "compromise" bill (it shields DREAMers from deportation), which is slightly less extreme has been postponed until tomorrow-- at the soonest. It is expected to fail as well.

House conservatives have been asking GOP leaders for more time to review the legislation. And House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) has been advocating for additional time to whip the bill all week.

Speaker Paul Ryan called a meeting early Thursday afternoon with other Republican leaders to discuss the situation.

“I think it is a mistake that leadership is rushing this [compromise] bill to the floor today,” Rep. Raul Labrador, one of the top negotiators of the text, said before the leadership meeting was announced.

"I actually think with a little bit more conversation, we could actually get to an agreement on things,” the Idaho Republican said. “Somebody suggested this today: we don’t have the White House picnic. Let’s spend those two hours in a room as Republicans talking about how we can actually get to 218.”

...The expected failure of both measures is also a setback for Trump, who pitched himself to voters as the world’s greatest dealmaker. Not only does the exercise make the president look weak, the collapse of the bill will undercut his message of blaming Democrats for problems at the border. Republicans can’t get on the same page themselves... Trump fired off a flurry of immigration tweets Thursday morning but, notably, none were a direct push for House Republicans to back the compromise bill. Instead, the president attacked the U.S. asylum system and accused Democrats of preventing action on immigration.

“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),” Trump tweeted. “Republicans must get rid of the stupid Filibuster Rule-it is killing you!”

Time and again in his dealings with Congress, and especially with Republicans, Trump has shown that he doesn’t know how to close deals on legislation. At crucial times, he hasn’t been able to move votes, due in part to his failure or unwillingness to grasp the intricacies of legislation and policy.

Trump can attack Republicans in Congress, he can confuse them, and he can scare them, but he often can’t make them vote how he wants.

“We’re still working through a lot of questions that members have,” Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said Wednesday night after leaving a whip meeting. “I think the president had a really good meeting at the White House with a number of members as well and he was really strong in his support and why he wants this bill on his desk.”

Scalise acknowledged, however, that GOP leaders still don’t have 218 votes.

The votes on a pair of immigration bill come a day after tensions between leaders, conservatives and moderates boiled over on the House floor. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows accused Ryan of lying to him about which conservative bill he’d allow to come to a vote. The North Carolina lawmaker, who rarely raises his voice, also fumed that two provisions he’d won in the compromise bill were left out, breaking their agreement.

GOP leaders huddled Wednesday night after the clash. Ryan called Meadows and told him they would give him the provisions he wanted, leaving both sides chalking up the run-in as a misunderstanding.

Some people close to the negotiations and aligned with leadership complain that conservatives were shifting their demands as the vote approached. Immigration hard-liners counter that leaders have been unwilling to do enough to secure the border. And even though a compromise was reached on what the House would take up, ill will lingers.

Conservatives are disappointed by Trump’s inability to sell the compromise bill and are therefore wary of voting “yes.” The package includes a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and some other types of immigrants, devised by immigration hawk Rep. Raúl Labrador of Idaho.

But conservatives don’t like the final product. It would significantly curb family migration, end the diversity visa lottery program and appropriate $25 billion for a border wall. Critics on the right wanted additional provisions, such as E-Verify, which mandates that all businesses check the legal status of their workers.

Trump met with a handful of lawmakers at the White House on Wednesday and appears to have moved some of them, according to one Republican source. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen were on the Hill separately Wednesday to try to drum up support.

But GOP leaders say the only way the compromise legislation would pass is if Trump himself tells conservatives explicitly: Vote for the compromise bill.

Trump hasn’t done that. Neither, it appears, did his Cabinet officials, who echoed Trump’s careful talking points: the president would sign either a conservative bill or a moderate bill, they said.

The "compromise" bill provides DREAMers with a pathway to citizenship and gives Trump the $25 billion for the wall, most of which he plans to steal and enrich his friends. It also prevents families from being separated at the border-- incarceration instead of separation?

This Tuesday, progressive Democrat Tom Guild has his primary against some establishment candidates Today he told us that his Republican opponent "Steve Russell has made a living by logging a radical voting record and his bloviating and extreme rhetoric. When all of his Oklahoma Republican House Colleagues voted for the extreme immigration measure, Russell vote no. He was for the bill before he was against it. He must feel the heat on the immigration issue our campaign has focused on him and his radical views. Since Russell wakes up in a new world every day, we’re waiting with baited breath to see what his next naked political chess move will be."

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