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Paul Ryan hopes "conversations" will help avert forced immigration vote

Rep. Hurd on House immigration bill

House Speaker Paul Ryan and GOP leaders are pushing for open conversations within the caucus to find a "permanent fix" to DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that the Trump administration has been trying to end. Ryan once again voiced his concerns with conservative House members' move to force a House vote on several immigration bills by using a discharge petition. If 218 members sign such a petition, the House would have to vote on a series of immigration bills. 

"I feel good about the kind of conversations that were having, our members are earnest and sincere in trying to understand each others perspectives, we have a big swath of views within our conference on this issue. I really do believe that there's a sweet spot here," Ryan told reporters at Wednesday's House GOP leadership press availability. 

As of Tuesday, two more Democrats, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas, and Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Texas, announced they would sign the measure, so the petition, with 215 signatures, would need the support of just three more lawmakers to force the votes.

Ryan added, "I think the president was extremely productive when he put out his four pillars, they're extraordinarily reasonable they attempt to actually fix the solution, when we fix DACA we want to fix it permanently so we don't have another DACA problem down the road."

Ryan told reporters that Republicans plan to have a "conference-wide conversation for two or three hours" on Thursday to discuss action on immigration legislation, saying, "That's what we should be doing, talking out among ourselves so the majority can function, and we don't want to do a discharge petition obviously."

The last Democratic holdout is Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, who fears that the resulting votes could lead to the building of a southern border wall.

Meanwhile, Ryan was also asked about Rep. Trey Gowdy's comments following the classified briefings on "spygate" where Gowdy said that he was even more convinced the FBI was doing what his fellow citizens would want. Ryan said that Gowdy's "initial assessment is accurate," but that there's "more digging to do." He also said it would have been helpful to get the information earlier.

CBS News' Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this report. 

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