Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., said that under an offer from the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S.as children could get a new visa that would let them stay in the country for eight years.
But even as progress is said to be made, a key sticking point has will remain when Republicans gather Thursday morning: How the young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children that were protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would stay in the US.
"Our members realize it's better to have a process that has a chance of going into law than not", Mr. Ryan said.
Those four pillars are: $25 billion for a border wall, ending a visa lottery system, limiting family-based immigration, and creating a path to citizenship for the so-called DREAMers, undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S.as children.
"Democrats' enthusiasm matches Republicans' in 2014 and 2010", said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducts the Journal/NBC poll with his Democratic counterpart Peter Hart. He said that to make progress on spending bills and nominations, "it's necessary for us to be here in August and to do our work".
With a group of centrist Republicans threatening to force debate this month on a series of immigration bills that could result in one that most in the party do not like, the pressure was on House Speaker Paul Ryan to craft a measure that would avoid brewing revolts from opposing wings.
The party is divided over two very different approaches on immigration. You have a leadership that didn't even want to bring an immigration vote to the floor.
Some Republicans said they fear their party is headed for a repeat of 1986, when the Reagan amnesty granted permanent legal residence to 2.7 million people and promised stiff sanctions on employers who hired illegal immigrants, better border controls and checks on migrants applying for some welfare.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the head of the conservative Freedom Caucus, emerged saying the closed-door talks were moving "forward, not backward".
The impasse makes it increasingly likely that the moderates will use a so-called discharge petition, signed by 23 Republicans and nearly every House Democrat, to force a vote on four versions of immigration legislation.
Republicans acknowledge that conservatives and moderates could keep working on a compromise past Tuesday even if there are 218 signatures on the discharge petition. That is meant to address conservative objections to the demand from the moderates by ensuring there is no net increase in the number of legal immigrants.
House rules require seven legislative days for a discharge petition to ripen once it gets to 218 signatures, after which any signatory can call it up as a privileged resolution on the second or fourth Monday of the month.
"I really got a sense that everyone wants to get to yes", Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and author of a conservative-backed immigration reform bill, told reporters.
Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, was running a construction company in 1986 and said he was so angry at the time that he kicked a dent into the drawer of a filing cabinet. "So obviously time is of the essence". The group is a couple of signatures shy of forcing a vote on its preferred bill over leadership's objections.
"I think it made us realise our status in society is more delicate than a lot of us realised".
In the central state of Iowa, Democrat businessman Fred Hubbell will represent his party in the governorship race against incumbent Republican Kim Reynolds, who took over the reins after former governor Terry Branstad was appointed the USA ambassador to China.
A moderate solution could only pass if a majority of Democrats signed on to the bill. Maybe they're just embarrassed to admit who they vote for. Luz Rivas won a runoff for the state Assembly seat from which fellow Democrat Raul Bocanegra resigned at the end of past year, and Republican Rita Topalian and Democrat Vanessa Delgado advanced to an August 7 runoff for Democrat Tony Mendoza's old state Senate seat. Joe L. Barton said.
To a large extent, that's also true for Republicans, outside the (extremely important!) anomaly in the White House. Confused? That's all right, but if you admit it, then you can't be a professional pundit.
In a sign that leadership was not confident the conference would finally be able to get on the same page on an issue that has divided Republicans for years, Speaker Paul D. Ryan opened the Thursday conference by noting the objective of the talks was to head off the discharge petition, not force the issue, according to a source in the room.