- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 10, 2018

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said he’s willing to have a debate over illegal immigrant “Dreamers” but said Thursday the key is to find a bill that President Trump will sign — suggesting none of the efforts being pushed by rebel Republicans and Democrats meets that goal.

He was responding to a petition drive launched earlier this week by the rebel Republicans to force a floor debate, over Mr. Ryan’s objections, on a number of bills that would grant legal status to Dreamers.

Mr. Ryan said he does want to get some bill done before November, but said the generous legalization plans the rebels are backing would only produce “show” votes that, even if they succeed in the House, would be vetoed by Mr. Trump.

“I want to fix this problem so I would like to have an immigration vote before the midterms. But I want to have a vote on something that can make it into law,” he said. “That means the White House has to be a part of this.”

The rebel Republicans are using what’s known on Capitol Hill as a discharge petition, which is a way for lawmakers to push bills to the floor over the objections of the majority party’s leaders, who traditionally control the floor schedule.

To succeed, the rebel Republicans — led by Rep. Carlos Curbelo, Florida Republican, and joined by Reps. Jeff Denham, David Valadao, Will Hurd and Mario Diaz-Balart — will need to get signatures from a majority of House members.

If all Democrats sign on, it would still take about two dozen Republicans. As of Thursday at noon, 18 Republicans had signed.

Mr. Ryan and fellow Republican leaders have reason to be concerned, given some 30 to 40 other Republicans have previously signaled they wanted to see the debate happen, creating a pool of likely candidates to sign the discharge petition.

Mr. Ryan appealed to Republicans not to lose control of the legislative process.

“We never want to turn the floor over to the minority,” he said.

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