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Curbelo a 'yes' on budget, says DACA solution 'within reach'

Curbelo a 'yes' on budget, says DACA solution 'within reach'
© Greg Nash

The House Republicans' leading voice on immigration reform on Thursday said he'll support a budget deal to fund the government for two years, despite the legislation not including DACA provisions.

Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloCurbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure Progressive group targets GOP moderates on immigration Republican Fla. rep calls for debate on ‘gun safety laws’ MORE (R-Fla.), a fiscal conservative, voted against the last three continuing resolutions because they didn't include a legislative replacement for DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

"Today the Speaker [Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRepublicans are avoiding gun talks as election looms The Hill's 12:30 Report Flake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan MORE (R-Wis.)] delivered his strongest commitment yet that [DACA] legislation will be considered on the floor of the House," said Curbelo in a statement. "Paired with the certainty the Senate will be holding a fair and open debate on immigration legislation next week, I am now more hopeful than ever a solution on DACA is within reach."

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Curbelo's vote of confidence in immigration negotiations could provide cover to moderate Republicans — and some Democrats — as pro-immigration progressives decry the budget bill for not addressing the issue.

House Democratic leaders have pledged not to vote for the deal, agreed upon in the Senate, mainly because it lacks an immigration component.

But Minority Leader Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiLawmakers feel pressure on guns Former Pelosi challenger: I have no 'interest in running for leadership again' Congress punts fight over Dreamers to March MORE (D-Calif.) also said she wasn't going to whip her caucus against the bill, angering progressives.

At issue is whether a pledge by Ryan to address DACA after a budget bill is passed will lead to legislation that immigration proponents can live with.

"We want a DACA solution. Guess what? In order to shift our focus and get to the next big priority, which is a DACA solution, we gotta get this budget agreement done so that we can go and focus on this," Ryan said in a press conference Thursday. "And I said it once and I'll say it again, we will bring a DACA solution to the floor."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (R-Ky.) pledged Wednesday to bring a blank-slate bill for debate on the Senate floor once the budget agreement is approved.

Curbelo, a two-term Republican who rarely invites controversy, in November pledged not to vote for spending bills until DACA was replaced permanently by Congress.

"The main obstacles to that goal have been congressional leaders' refusal to allow each Chamber to consider legislation on the Floor and the objections of extremists in both parties," said Curbelo.

“Yesterday I shared with the Speaker that in my view it was critical for him to explicitly rule out the possibility of inaction by the House on immigration legislation that includes a permanent solution on DACA," he added.

Curbelo is considered a vulnerable Republican in the 2018 midterms. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE easily won his district by more than 16 points in the 2016 presidential election. 

The House is expected to vote Thursday on the proposal after it's passed by the Senate.