House Republican leaders are delaying a vote on a compromise immigration bill until Friday as leaders struggle to secure 218 votes for the measure.
Some Republicans had pressed leadership to push back the Thursday vote on the compromise measure so that they could have more time to review the package, which is the product of weeks of negotiations between centrists and conservatives.
Lawmakers were frustrated that they didn't have more time to read the nearly 300-page bill that was released Tuesday, while others complained that Majority Whip Rep. Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseFifth House Republican comes out in support of bipartisan infrastructure bill Democratic leaders racing toward Monday infrastructure vote House GOP to whip against bipartisan infrastructure bill MORE (R-La.) didn't have enough time to build support for the measure.
Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloNation's fraught politics leads to fear, scars and exits Direct air capture is a crucial bipartisan climate policy Biden's corporate tax hike is bad for growth — try a carbon tax instead MORE (R-Fla.), one of the lead centrist negotiators on the compromise immigration bill, said he did not oppose pushing the vote to Friday, as long as it doesn't get pushed back any further.
There will also be a conferencewide meeting on immigration at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, which will give GOP leaders one last chance to rally the party around the legislation and convince the remaining holdouts to get on board with the plan.
The compromise measure would provide a pathway to citizenship for up to 1.8 millions "Dreamers," provide $25 billion for President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE's border wall and other security measures as well as prevent families from being separated at the border.
The House earlier Thursday rejected a more hard-line immigration measure from Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteThe job of shielding journalists is not finished Bottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden MORE (R-Va.).
Tensions over immigration had reached a boiling point on Wednesday, when Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsBiden does not plan to shield Trump docs in Jan. 6 probe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Jan. 6 panel subpoenas four ex-Trump aides Bannon, Meadows MORE (R-N.C.) was seen having a heated argument with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book Paul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Biden won election: 'It was not rigged. It was not stolen' Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms MORE (R-Wis.) on the House floor.
Meadows was furious that the final compromise immigration package left out several provisions that had been agreed to during earlier negotiations. Conservatives are also upset that leadership brought the original version of the Goodlatte bill to the floor instead of a modified version that was designed to win more support.
“The problem is, they kept saying, 'It’s in there, it’s in there.' I read the entire bill and only with less than 24 hours before a vote did I find out that indeed it wasn’t in there,” Meadows said Thursday in an interview with Hill.TV's show "Rising.”
“And I felt like it was going back on their word on what would actually be in the text. I don’t think I should be led one way and then find out differently,” he said.
In a sign of just how rushed the process has been, the House Rules Committee had to hold an emergency session late Wednesday night to fix a drafting error in the Goodlatte bill that would have authorized $125 billion for Trump's border wall instead of $25 billion.
Republicans are also grappling with the family separation crisis created by Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy. While Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to end the practice of separating children from their parents at the border, lawmakers still say a legislative fix is necessary.
If the GOP measure fails, as is expected, House Republicans could face immense pressure to pass a stand-alone fix for the family separation issue.
Updated at 2:34 p.m.