After extensive negotiations with the Republican caucus, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced yesterday that the lower chamber will vote on two immigration proposals next week, appeasing lawmakers who were poised to sign the immigration discharge petition if significant progress were not made. The move effectively curbs an effort from centrist Republicans to buck the standing rules of the House and spark a free-wheeling immigration debate that was due to take place this week. The measures the House will vote on next week include a conservative immigration bill authored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) — favored by the House Freedom Caucus — as well as a more moderate compromise proposal that is expected to address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. However, it remains unclear whether Republicans will have the support to coalesce behind either measure and President Trump’s opinion on the measures may heavily influence whether either eventually passes the House.
The floor schedule for the House today includes votes on a set of eleven suspension bills, including additional opioids-related measures after the lower chamber approved 25 measures on the issue yesterday. House lawmakers will also start debate on the trio of opioids bills that will be voted on pursuant to a rule later this week. The full list of suspension measures to be considered this week can be found here.
In the Senate, lawmakers are continuing the debate on the FY19 National Defense Authorization act (NDAA) as the process slowly moves towards votes. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has filed cloture on an amendment to enhance the powers of Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), as well as a substitute amendment that will make technical changes to the underlying bill. Votes on those amendments are expected tomorrow as the Senate hopes to complete consideration of the NDAA by the end of the week.
Finally, in yesterday’s slew of primary elections, Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) — one of President Trump’s most outspoken Republican critics in Congress — was defeated by Trump-backed state representative Katie Arrington. In Virginia, state senator Jennifer Wexton earned a decisive victory in a crowded Democratic primary for the rights to face one of the House’s most vulnerable Republicans in Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA). Further complicating matters for Virginia Republicans is the nomination of Corey Stewart — whose sharp rhetoric on immigration and Confederate symbols sparked outrage during his 2017 campaign for governor —to face off against Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).