Moderates call for immigration vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican lawmakers with moderate views on immigration defied party leaders and took steps Wednesday toward forcing election-year House votes on the issue, and a leader of the group said they had enough support to succeed.

The legislators want the House to vote on four bills including a bipartisan compromise, a conservative proposal and a liberal plan. Many of them face potentially competitive reelection races in November in congressional districts with large numbers of Hispanic, suburban or other voters with pro-immigration views.

With the bipartisan package considered likeliest to prevail, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has opposed permitting the votes and is expected to try to persuade GOP lawmakers to not sign on. Ryan has tried unsuccessfully to round up enough support for the conservative alternative and has said he doesn't want votes on immigration legislation that President Donald Trump won't sign.

But under a little-used procedure, if 218 House members — a majority of the chamber's full membership — sign a socalled discharge petition, Ryan could not prevent a vote on the proposal.

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