Rep. Jim Jordan blames House GOP leadership for failure of conservative immigration bill

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, says an immigration bill backed by conservative House members would have passed were it not for a lackluster effort by the Republican leadership to whip votes, as they have for a more moderate compromise bill that has yet to come to the floor.

"The compromise bill was pulled because it got a lot less votes," Jordan, a co-founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said on "Face the Nation" Sunday. "If our leadership had whipped, had put the same whip effort behind that immigration legislation, Chairman [Bob] Goodlatte's legislation, it would have passed. It was that close to passing, so let's focus on that."

The more conservative of two GOP proposals failed on Thursday and a vote on the more moderate bill was pushed off, at first until Friday and then again to sometime this week. The latter measure includes provisions to address family separation, a fix for DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals), a merit-based visa system and additional funds for border security and funding for President Trump's long-desired border wall. 

Just days before the failure of the conservative bill, Mr. Trump pushed Republicans on the Hill to throw their support behind the compromise measure. On Friday, after the conservative version failed, Mr. Trump tweeted that Republicans should wait until after the November elections before taking up any immigration legislation. 

When pressed on when exactly a vote on the compromise bill would take place, Jordan said Sunday that "the reason it hasn't happened is because it would have got a lot less votes than the conservative bill, the one that is consistent with the mandate of the election."

Asked if he would support a more narrow bill that addresses family separation at immigration detention centers, Jordan replied, "Yeah, but Chuck Schumer is the problem."

"The Democrats -- deep down what they really care about is catch-and-release, but what they want is open borders, what they want is the political issue. They don't want to solve the problems," Jordan added.

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital