Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday dismissed a push from within his party to force votes on legislation shielding Dreamers from deportation, saying it would not help the young undocumented immigrants who came here as children.
The Wisconsin Republican told reporters he would like to have an immigration vote “before the midterms,” but wants a bill that will “make it into law.” And that won’t happen unless President Donald Trump endorses a proposal to codify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“I don’t want show ponies,” Ryan said, arguing that votes on legislation the president has not agreed to would amount to a distraction. “That means the White House will need to be a part of this and we’ll need a bill the president will sign.”
A small group of centrist Republicans filed a discharge petition Wednesday that would trigger a series of floor votes on different immigration proposals if 218 lawmakers sign on. If every Democrat gets on board, 25 Republicans would have to defy GOP leadership to force a floor debate.
Ryan is urging his colleagues not to sign the petition, and said the exercise was pointless.
“Going down a path having some spectacle on the floor that just results in a veto doesn’t solve the problem,” he said. “We actually want to solve this problem, so that’s why we want to come up with a solution that the president will support.”