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Farm Bill's Future Uncertain After House Conservatives Reject Immigration Deal

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More Republicans sign DACA petition

But it's a central part of how the House works.

As they battle a revolt on their left flank, GOP leaders are also struggling with House conservatives over the farm bill.

Meadows wants Ryan's assurance of a vote on an immigration bill by Rep.

A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., did not immediately respond to a request for comment. And he indicated that his group might block the House Republicans' Farm Bill legislation if doing so helped convince Republican colleagues to help him block votes on bipartisan DACA proposals.

In addition to the demands from conservatives, GOP leaders were trying to quash support for what Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway called "poison pill" amendments to the farm bill, which reauthorizes federal crop subsidies, agricultural supports and government food programs through 2023. If caucus members oppose the farm bill, it could derail its chances in the Republican-controlled chamber, where Democrats oppose it for changes it would make to nutrition assistance programs.

"We are working in earnest with our members to try and address all of their concerns about immigration reforms", Ryan told reporters Thursday.

The group is pushing for an immigration vote because the farm bill is one of the last pieces of must-pass legislation the House will tackle between now and a spending bill at the end of September.

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Moderates want protected legal status for Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Meadows said he's not in a hurry. "And yet here we are still not dealing with the immigration issue". A band of moderate Republicans is also trying to force Ryan to bring up an immigration bill - one that would grant US citizenship to some DREAMers, strengthen border security, and leave the legal immigration system as is.

In spite of that, the number of GOP signatories to the discharge petition grew to 20 on Wednesday, with a number of Democrats joining them on Thursday. If a majority of House members sign on to the discharge petition, it would go straight to the floor.

Forty-nine lawmakers, including 20 Republicans, had signed the petition as of Thursday afternoon.

By pushing the immigration issue at the same time, the moderates and conservative factions may force a GOP reckoning on an issue that has bedeviled the Republican Party for years.

Meadows told The Hill that if this gambit succeeded, it would nullify the discharge petition that also includes the Goodlate bill. And they're just four GOP signatories away from being able to force a full House vote on a solution, assuming all House Democrats join them in support.

McCarthy's close friend Jeff Denham of California, among them - have waited years for a bill, and frankly have no incentive to believe any leadership-backed effort until it's imminent. And with roughly a dozen moderates already stating their opposition to the farm bill, the opposition of another dozen to two-dozen conservatives in the Freedom Caucus would nearly certainly sink the farm bill. At the same time, the hardline Goodlatte bill does not have enough votes to pass the House or the Senate.

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