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GOP immigration battle pits McCarthy against Valadao

GOP immigration battle pits McCarthy and Valadao against each other

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Kern's two congressmen are locked in battle over immigration, as a group of moderate Republicans are defying Republican leadership, in their quest to force a vote on immigration.

"Right now he's the most important man in the room, Kevin can do it," said President Trump Wednesday piling praise and putting pressure on House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to help reform this country's immigration system. 

But first, the Bakersfield congressman who is a favorite to succeed Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House, has a party problem.

McCarthy's congressional neighbor, Republican Congressman David Valadao, along with 19 other GOP representatives are trying to force a debate on immigration.

Valadao explained earlier this year:

"It specifically says four pieces of legislation would be brought up, first is the Goodlatte bill, second would be the DREAM Act, third is a placeholder for whatever Speaker Ryan decides to put in place, could be Trump's plan, it could be a plan that he would come up with. And the fourth is the USA act which is a compromise, DREAM Act provisions but also border security provisions," Valadao told 17 News in March.

Valadao supports the DREAM Act and the USA Act which would provide protections to 'Dreamers.'

But McCarthy and Republican leadership are trying to squash that effort.

"We don't want to advance something that we know won't become law and just get vetoed," said Speaker Ryan Wednesday.

Politico reported McCarthy met with some of Valadao's moderate Republican colleagues behind closed doors, and told them forcing an immigration vote could antagonize the GOP base, and depress republican turnout in November's midterms costing the GOP the house.

We spoke with Valadao by phone Wednesday and asked what he would tell McCarthy and Ryan to convince them to bring immigration to the floor. 

"It's a topic that the majority of Americans want addressed. A lot of Trump supporters supported Trump because of the wall. This allows for us to have a vote on securing the border. A lot of people voted for lots of members of Congress because they wanted something done on Dreamers, and they wanted something done on DACA, they wanted something done on immigration, and this would allow them that opportunity to do their job and have that vote," said Valadao.

McCarthy's office did not offer comment on the Politico story.


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