Republicans aim to debate immigration bill next week, ignoring Trump plea

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[June 23, 2018]    By Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representative still plan to bring an immigration bill up for a vote next week, despite President Donald Trump's urgings on Friday to drop the effort until after November's elections.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks with reporters about the Republican led immigration reform effort on U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

"We are bringing that bill to the floor," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, referring to legislation that has been postponed because of a lack of support among warring factions of the Republican Party.

Trump, faced with a public outcry over his policy that separated children from their migrant parents at the U.S. border with Mexico, had urged Congress to take up immigration legislation to permanently prevent family separations.

But, in a series of Twitter posts early on Friday, he said House Republicans should drop efforts to pass comprehensive immigration legislation until after the November elections.

"Elect more Republicans in November and we will pass the finest, fairest and most comprehensive Immigration Bills anywhere in the world," Trump said on Twitter.

Representative Carlos Curbelo, one of the lawmakers negotiating a Republican compromise immigration bill in the House, said the effort was continuing.

"Regarding the President, the bottom line is that he will sign the bill into law. That's critical considering our goal is to improve our country's immigration laws," Curbelo said in a statement to Reuters.

Despite Republican control of both the House and the Senate, the party's slim 51-49 majority in the latter chamber makes some Democratic support necessary for most legislation to become law.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; additional reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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