McConnell promises immigration vote if agreement reached

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Encouraging a bipartisan compromise on immigration, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement Wednesday that he will bring an immigration bill to the floor by the end of January if lawmakers and the White House can come to an agreement.

A bipartisan group of senators has been meeting with the Trump administration about legislation regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was launched through an executive order in 2012 by President Obama to give work permits to illegal immigrants brought to the United States at a young age.

President Donald Trump rescinded the illegal program in September, giving Congress six months to find a way to deal with the 800,000 illegal aliens in the DACA program.

The conversations also covered border security, interior enforcement and changes to the legal immigration system, according to McConnell.

“If negotiators reach an agreement on these matters by the end of January, I will bring it to the Senate floor for a free-standing vote,” he said. “I encourage those working on such legislation to develop a compromise that can be widely supported by both political parties and actually become law.”

A piece in Politico predicted that McConnell’s promise to bring a bill to the floor could spark an intense round of negotiations next year as well as help make it easier to pass a short-term spending deal this week.

Congress must approve legislation by Friday in order to avoid a shutdown of the federal government.

“While the Obama-era DACA program isn’t the only issue on the agenda, the assurances from McConnell could make it easier for top lawmakers from both parties to explain why Congress isn’t tackling the issue now,” according to the report.

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