Two Major Fights for Congress and the GOP This Week | NTK Network Two Major Fights for Congress and the GOP This Week

Two Major Fights for Congress and the GOP This Week

While the Senate plugs away at judicial nominations and both chambers work on a defense spending bill, immigration and trade will take up a lot of political oxygen in Congress this week.

By NTK Staff | 06.04.2018 @12:00pm
Two Major Fights for Congress and the GOP This Week

Congress is back in session this week. The U.S. Senate will consider Trump judicial nominees, and both chambers are doing work on an annual defense spending bill. Two more contentious issues, though, will take up a bunch of political oxygen this week, according to reports: immigration and trade.


The Associated Press reported that free-trade Republicans are mulling what to do about President Trump’s recent tariffs, not only against China but also against our allies, like Canada and the European Union (EU).

Trump’s moves on trade are expected to consume conversations among Senate Republicans this week. They’re worried about a wider trade war spiking prices for home-state businesses and consumers if Trump imposes steel and aluminum tariffs, as planned, on imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Trump has challenged decades-old orthodoxy in the GOP when it comes to trade. This week may be a key showdown for whether free trade or protectionism rules the day in 2018’s Republican Party.


The even bigger fight, though, will be over efforts by Democrats and centrist Republicans to provide a legal solution for so-called DREAMers – young, undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

Politico reported that House GOP leadership has failed so far to quell centrist and hard-liner rebellions over the issue of immigration.

As lawmakers left Washington for the Memorial Day recess in late May, GOP centrists gave immigration hard-liners a choice: Allow a vote on a bill that includes a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers — or we’ll team with Democrats to force votes on bipartisan immigration legislation you hate.

But most House Freedom Caucus members are spurning the offer. Several told POLITICO they see no reason to relent on the citizenship issue. A “special pathway,” as they call it, would only betray their beliefs and their base — for a vote on a bill that has no chance of becoming law.

A successful discharge petition from centrists, which could happen this week and would force several immigration plans onto the House floor for a vote, would be a defeat for leadership. Centrists and hard-liners, though, may relish the chance to have their plans face the full U.S. House for a vote.

It’s unclear which of these plans, if any, could pass the U.S. Senate and then be signed by the president, an immigration hard-liner himself.

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