President Donald Trump claimed on Saturday that he never pressured House Republicans to pass an immigration overhaul bill – either the GOP leadership-backed legislation or more conservative proposal.
“I never pushed the Republicans in the House to vote for the Immigration Bill, either GOODLATTE 1 or 2, because it could never have gotten enough Democrats as long as there is the 60 vote threshold,” Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon, referring to the Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte who had his name attached to both bills.
Both pieces of legislation – the conservative proposal Trump called “Goodlatte 1” and the compromise bill backed by House leadership he labeled “Goodlatte 2” – failed to pass the House over the past two weeks.
Trump on Saturday also called on Republicans to get rid of the filibuster rule in the Senate, arguing that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer would do so if Democrats take majority of the chamber in November.
“Either we need to elect more Republicans in November or Republicans must end the ridiculous 60 vote, or Filibuster, rule - or better yet, do both. Cryin’ Chuck would do it on day one, but we’ll never give him the chance. Some great legislation awaits - be smart!” Trump said in Twitter.
Though he said Saturday he never pressured Republicans, Trump had tweeted hours before Wednesday’s vote in the House that members should support the compromise bill.
“House Republicans should pass the strong but fair immigration bill, known as Goodlatte II, in their afternoon vote today, even though the Dems won’t let it pass in the Senate,” Trump wrote in all caps.
Later that day, the bill, although never expected to pass, failed by an even wider margin than expected – 121 to 301.