Rep. Will Hurd says GOP members have votes to bring immigration bill to House floor

Republican Rep. Will Hurd of Texas says that Republican members in Congress have the votes necessary to bring a series of immigration bills to the House floor and anticipates being able to force a vote this month. He told CBS' "Face the Nation" that "now is time to solve this problem and do it once and for all."

Hurd is leading the charge to force a vote in the House, much to the disapproval Republican leadership, including House Speaker Paul Ryan. A majority of members are needed to sign onto the so-called "discharge petition" in order to bring the bills to the floor. Congress has not been able to legislate a fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which President Trump eliminated earlier this year and is now tied up in the courts.

"We're adding votes every single day. We're engaged in conversations to figure out, is there another path? I don't believe there is," said Hurd. Hurd said he expects to force a vote by the end of June. If all 193 Democrats sign onto the plan, only 25 Republicans would be needed to force a vote.

Ryan has previously criticised the effort in the House as a "spectacle on the floor."

"I don't want to have show ponies. I want to have actual law, and that means the White House has to be a part of this, and it has to be a bill that the president can sign," Ryan said last month.

On Sunday, Hurd defended his actions, saying, "I hope teachers are still teaching in the school that having a public conversation and discourse is still important to keeping democracy alive and thriving in the United States of America."

Fellow Republican and Ohio Gov. John Kasich indicated support for Hurd's petition, saying it's incumbent upon the party to do whatever it takes legislatively to fix DACA. 

"You know, it's like, 'Well, we don't want to pass an immigration bill because the president might veto it.' Well, send it to him. Let him veto it. I mean, that's your job as a congressman. And I have to tell you, that I'm very proud of this group of Republicans who are saying that they're going to do everything they can to get a vote on immigration reform and protecting the Dreamers," Kasich told "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

Hurd was critical of current immigration laws, saying the country lacks "operational control of our border."

"We have a million plus young men and women who have only known the United States of America as their home, that are in this uncertainty period," he said. "They don't know about their future."

  • Emily Tillett

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