WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the farm bill (all times local)

House Speaker Paul Ryan in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday sought to discourage fellow Republicans from signing a measure that would force an immigration vote members leaving the meeting said

House Speaker Paul Ryan in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday sought to discourage fellow Republicans from signing a measure that would force an immigration vote members leaving the meeting said

Under the Goodlatte-McCaul bill, immigrants brought to the United States illegally who are shielded from deportation under the Obama-era DACA program could have their protections renewed for three-year periods, but would not have a pathway to citizenship.

Following a meeting of the House Freedom Caucus Thursday afternoon, the group's chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-South Carolina, said that he was not able to convince any of his members to switch from a "no" vote to a "yes" vote on the giant agriculture and food bill that the leadership hoped to bring to the floor for a vote Friday. That bill would dramatically cut legal immigration and authorize funding for border security, including construction of President Trump's proposed wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

Meadows declined to name a specific number of Freedom Caucus members who remain opposed to the bill, but another Freedom Caucus member told HuffPost they had at least 18 members willing to hold up the farm bill. They have have been in limbo ever since President Trump ended the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program past year. Some hard-right members are demanding a ground vote on a conservative immigration invoice from Rep.

"We are working in earnest with our members to try and address all of their concerns about immigration reforms", Ryan told reporters Thursday. "And yet here we are still not dealing with the immigration issue". A group of moderates have been signing a petition to force a vote on four separate immigration bills: the Goodlatte bill, a version of the DREAM Act, bipartisan immigration that protects DACA recipients and enhances border security (the USA Act), and a bill to be offered by Speaker Ryan. If a majority of House members sign on to the discharge petition, it would go straight to the floor.

A minimum of 20 Home Republicans have now signed onto a petition to drive a freewheeling immigration debate within the Home, shifting reasonable Republicans towards the brink of driving a divisive subject to the Home ground - one GOP leaders favor to keep away from forward of the midterm elections.

By pushing the immigration issue at the same time, the moderates and conservative factions may force a GOP reckoning on an issue that has bedeviled the Republican Party for years.


There is no time limit to gather 218 signatures on the discharge petition, but an incomplete effort expires at the end of the 115th Congress next January.

McCarthy's close friend Jeff Denham of California, among them - have waited years for a bill, and frankly have no incentive to believe any leadership-backed effort until it's imminent. Denham said he expected more to follow.

His spokesman, Frank Keel, said on Thursday that Mr. Miccarelli would not resign and that he continued to maintain his innocence. And with roughly a dozen moderates already stating their opposition to the farm bill, the opposition of another dozen to two-dozen conservatives in the Freedom Caucus would nearly certainly sink the farm bill.

For months, Ryan has warned his colleagues against advancing a measure he thinks President Trump would veto.

And lawmakers across the ideological spectrum are exhausted of waiting.

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