Speaker Paul Ryan quashed a rank-and-file effort to just make Democrats to adopt a politically toxic vote to abolish the government government’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, sources accustomed to the issue told POLITICO.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) this morning floated the idea of forcing Democrats to vote with a bill that might eliminate ICE, a proposal backed by the far-left but is unpopular mostly voters. Republicans, the thinking went, would win regardless: Democrats would either back niche and watch Republicans utilize it against them inside midterms. Or perhaps part of Democrats would oppose it, depressing the liberal base.
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But Ryan (R-Wis.) was concerned about yet another option: that Democrats wouldn’t vote in anyway, or uniformly oppose it, making Republicans look silly. Last Friday, he told House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) he didn’t would like to place measure, sponsored by Progressive Caucus co-Chairman Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), on the surface – despite the fact that McCarthy told reporters just hours before that House Republicans would do that.
But McCarthy, in line with one leadership source, came to concur with Ryan. Since Democrats said they’d vote against their particular measure, he figured they already has a victory of sorts.
“It became obvious it may well backfire and take off and not advance the matter,” said one GOP source allied with Ryan on this matter.
Instead, GOP leaders will hold a vote over a bill sponsored by Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) expressing support for ICE, a move McCarthy announced publicly Monday.
“We will vote on Wednesday – talking about anything ICE do saving your children, a person’s trafficking, the better than 980,000 pounds of narcotics” seized, McCarthy told reporters. “I gave Pocan a way to vote on the bill – They just do not would like to elect their unique bill.”
POLITICO reported on Thursday that Pocan wouldn’t back the bill, after he and also other liberal Democrats introduced it and get been rallying the camp with the proposal for the days.
"After being called on the bluff, Democrats ran scared using their company own bill," said Ryan’s spokeswoman, Ashlee Strong. "Democrats will now provide the an opportunity to stand with the many Americans who support ICE and opt for this resolution, or keep to the extreme voices about the far left with [abolition] of agency that protects us."
GOP leaders now believe allowing lawmakers to compliment ICE rather then rebuke it can put Democrats on record in the same manner. The Higgins bill includes language condemning thinking about abolishing ICE.
But which might not be enough for a few conservatives who want to press Democrats over the issue. Multiple conservative members were balking on a lawn late Monday with the sudden change of plans.
The matter will quite definitely arise on a House Republican Conference meeting .