UPDATE [6/27/18, 2:00 p.m. ET]
The House widely rejected the immigration bill in an afternoon vote Wednesday.
The 121-301 vote came after all Democrats maintained their stance of opposition to the president’s immigration agenda, and many conservative Republicans voted against the bill after they expressed skepticism about what some saw as amnesty measures included in the moderate plan.
The rejection comes after President Donald Trump attempted to rally support of the bill after he earlier sent mixed signals about whether he fully endorses the bill.
President Donald Trump called for House Republicans to pass a moderate immigration bill on Wednesday, reversing course from last week when he said that lawmakers are “wasting their time” trying the pass the bill since it faces a slim chance in the Senate.
Taking to Twitter for an all-caps tirade, Trump made an effort to rally support for the compromise legislation after some Republican lawmakers seemed wary to support it.
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. PASSAGE WILL SHOW THAT WE WANT STRONG BORDERS & SECURITY WHILE THE DEMS WANT OPEN BORDERS = CRIME. WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2018
The president’s message is a sharp turn from last week when he blamed Democrats for obstructing potential immigration reform and said that Republicans “should stop wasting their time on Immigration” until after the midterms.
But many GOP leaders fear that Trump’s last-minute support ahead of Wednesday’s vote won’t be enough to get the votes needed to pass the bill, which was carefully negotiated between conservative lawmakers, moderates, and House leaders, according to Politico.
But many immigration hardliners saw the bill’s protections for DACA recipients as a form of amnesty, prompting conservative lawmakers to say they won’t vote yes. And Trump’s earlier tweets didn’t help.
GOP leaders have been trying to garner support anyway, and Trump’s Wednesday tweet was emailed to House Republicans in an effort to sway some representatives.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) also went on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning to campaign for the bill’s merits, saying that it fixes all of the president’s priorities on immigration, even as he admitted it doesn’t have the votes to pass.
“This bill is even stronger than the last bill at building the wall, front-loading the money, so President Trump can have the money to build the wall, close loopholes, re-unite families, all of those things,” Scalise said.
But lawmakers will likely find it difficult to flip votes in response to Trump’s last-minute tweet in support of the bill, especially as many representatives have already announced how they will vote to their constituents.