House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said Republicans fighting over immigration are closer to a deal than the “headlines would suggest.”
“Now are we in favor of the 'Queen of the Hill'? Are they in favor of the Goodlatte bill? Absolutely not,” Meadows told The Hill, “but we’ve made real progress in the last 24 hours in terms of what might be a happy medium for everybody to consider.”
House GOP leaders have been caught between centrists demanding votes on immigration legislation that would provide protections for “Dreamers,” young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, and conservatives who want to vote on a tough immigration bill.
The centrists have filed a discharge petition to force floor votes on four bills as part of a “Queen of the Hill” process in which the bill with the most votes over 218 would be sent to the Senate.
The discharge petition would get around Republicans and effectively allow Democrats to partner with a minority of the GOP conference to deliver a vote. The petitions rarely succeed, and those behind them are generally punished by leadership.
GOP leaders have said they must get an agreement on a bill that could be supported by President Trump, a position echoed by Meadows, who also thinks this is achievable.
Meadows said he believed that a vote on immigration could happen on the floor by the “third week in June.”
“At the end of the day, would we be able to come up with an option that we could potentially bring to the floor that would be supported by the administration? I think the answer is yes,” Meadows said in an interview shortly after a meeting with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and key GOP members representing various sides of the immigration issue.
The chairman intends to brief his fellow Freedom Caucus members at a Thursday afternoon meeting, where they will discuss “options that may or may not be accepted by the leadership.”
Click on the video above to hear the chairman in his own words.