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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 CurbeloHouse Hispanic Republicans welcome four new members House adjusts format for dinner with new members after criticism Former GOP congressman calls for Biden to receive presidential briefings 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 RyanMcCarthy woos Freedom Caucus with eye on Speakership American Greatness editor on how Trump's abandonment of populism affected 2020 election Paul Ryan calls for Trump to accept results: 'The election is over' 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 PelosiOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks Hillicon Valley: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security | Biden says China must play by 'international norms' | House Democrats use Markup app for leadership contest voting Bipartisan governors call on Congress to pass coronavirus relief package 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 McConnellOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks GOP senators back Christian school's push for COVID-19 carve-out Bipartisan governors call on Congress to pass coronavirus relief package 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 ClintonHillary and Chelsea Clinton to host series based on their book 'Gutsy Women' Democrats see spike in turnout among Asian American, Pacific Islander voters Biden officially announces ex-Obama official Brian Deese as top economic adviser 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.