Trump questions the ‘purpose’ of House immigration bills only hours before critical votes

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President Donald Trump downplayed the importance of House Republican immigration bills Thursday only hours before the chamber plans to vote on them.

The president’s message likely will not help GOP leaders, who have sought Trump’s help in urging wavering members to back the legislation. On Tuesday night, Trump told the House Republican caucus that he supports the measures, which broadly meet his border security goals. He even told lawmakers that he “1,000 percent” backs their effort to pass a bill.

In a tweet Thursday morning, the president questioned why House passage of the GOP bills matters, because they will almost certainly fail in the Senate. Republicans, who hold 51 seats in that chamber, need the support of nine Democrats to reach the 60-vote threshold to pass most legislation.

Trump claimed Senate Democrats “are only looking to obstruct,” which they think “is good for them” in November’s midterm elections. He again urged Republicans to end the legislative filibuster, saying, “it is killing you!”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly said he has no interest in changing the filibuster rule.

The House plans to vote on two immigration bills later Thursday. The GOP crafted one as a compromise between the demands of centrist and conservative Republicans.

Rep. Ryan Costello, a Pennsylvania Republican who will not run for re-election in November, tweeted Thursday that Trump’s comment “undermines getting undecided GOP members to support the compromise bill.”

By: Jacob Pramuk, CNBC

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