House Republicans pushed legislation on Friday that could clear the way for eventual deportation of more than 500,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as kids and could address the surge of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Yet President Barack Obama said they made a bad bill worse and promised to veto the measure if it reaches his desk. Obama called it "the most extreme and unworkable versions of a bill that they already know is going nowhere" and said he would have to act unilaterally to deal with the border crisis.
After more than a year of inaction on the contentious issue of immigration, House GOP leaders were optimistic about securing tea party and other conservative support for two bills that Republicans can highlight when they return home to voters during Congress' five-week summer break.
Votes were expected late Friday.
House Republicans were still making last-minute changes to the bills on Friday, a day after leaders were forced to abandon a scheduled vote in the face of tea party opposition. It was an embarrassment for the new leadership team and left them cajoling reluctant lawmakers on Friday.
"We're in very good shape," said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the new majority leader.
The gridlock on the border crisis reflected the past 18 months of a divided, dysfunctional Congress that has little legislation to show for its days in Washington but plenty of abysmal public approval numbers.
Read more at the Associated Press