GOP rep: Trump still '100 percent behind us' on passing compromise immigration bill

GOP rep: Trump still '100 percent behind us' on passing compromise immigration bill
© Greg Nash

Rep. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulHillicon Valley: Judge approves T-Mobile, Sprint merger | FTC to review past Big Tech deals | State officials ask for more cybersecurity help | House nears draft bill on self-driving cars Hillicon Valley: Tech confronts impact of coronavirus | House GOP offers resolution to condemn UK over Huawei | YouTube lays out plans to tackle 2020 misinformation GOP lawmakers introduce resolution denouncing UK's Huawei decision MORE (R-Texas) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussian sanctions will boomerang States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash A Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press MORE is “still 100 percent” supportive of a more moderate Republican immigration bill in the House, despite the president urging lawmakers to abandon efforts to pass the legislation.  

McCaul told “Fox News Sunday” that he spoke with the White House on Saturday, and that Trump is “still 100 percent behind us.”

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Trump tweeted on Friday that “Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November.”

His tweet undermined ongoing efforts from Republicans to rally enough support to pass a more moderate immigration bill. A more conservative immigration bill failed in the House last week.

McCaul, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee and helped author the more moderate bill, said he believes the legislation abides by the four pillars the Trump administration has laid out: border security, limits on family migration, protections for young immigrants and an end to the visa lottery.

“I think our family needs to come together,” McCaul said when asked why GOP leaders seem unable to pass the bill without a single Democratic vote.

He expressed optimism that the more moderate measure will pass, but added that the House should “at a minimum” address the issue of family separation. 

His comments come days after Trump signed an executive order halting the practice of family separation at the border. The president did so after saying for days that only Congress could address the issue.

The Trump administration has faced overwhelming backlash to its family separation policy, which is a direct result of the administration's “zero tolerance” initiative. Democrats and Republicans alike have called family separation “cruel” and “inhumane.”

McCaul said Sunday he does not believe it sends a good message that the Trump administration reversed its policy on the matter. However, he said he does not blame the White House for the issue.

“I would fault the U.S. Congress, which has the powers to change the laws,” he said. “We have to get this done or we’ll be seeing this scene play out over and over again.”