The House passed the most sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws in more than a decade, but President Donald Trump still has to sign it into law.
House Speaker Paul Ryan Paul Davis RyanHouse passes resolution blasting Trump for tweeting about Charlottesville Democrats push back on Trump, GOP’s latest legislative strategy MORE (R-Wis.) told reporters Thursday he was “very confident” that the bill will pass.
The GOP-led House passed a bill Thursday that would end a six-month moratorium on new immigrant visas for citizens of Mexico and Canada and increase the number of visas that would be available to the country’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.
The bill would also require federal contractors to hire U.S. workers who have lived in the country for at least five years, a measure the administration said would help companies compete for federal contracts.
The measure was one of the most significant immigration proposals to emerge from the Republican-controlled House, which has a long history of opposing the current system.
The White House has been working to convince Republicans to move on the bill.
The Trump administration has not been directly lobbying lawmakers, and it has not said publicly how it plans to respond to the House’s passage.
The House has until July 15 to pass the bill, which would be the final step before Trump can sign it.
The legislation, called the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, has faced resistance from some House Republicans who have been concerned about the cost and impact of the plan.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the plan would cost about $4.4 trillion over 10 years, while other analysts have projected that the measure would add about $2 trillion to the national debt.
The administration said it was confident the bill would pass the House.
“We continue to believe that this legislation is the right policy,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
“The Senate has also expressed its interest in this legislation and is expected to vote on it on July 22.”
Ryan’s office told reporters the speaker’s office has already begun to work with the administration on how to respond, according to the Hill.
“The Speaker and the Administration are committed to working with Congress to pass this important legislation and will continue to work closely with all members of Congress to ensure the legislation will be signed into law by President Trump,” the statement said.
A House GOP aide told The Hill the Speaker was “open” to working to support the bill but added the House “will have to take some action on its own” to help pass it.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the legislation “historic,” and she said it “represents a major step toward fixing our broken immigration system.”
But others in Congress have expressed concerns about the bill’s impact on the country, including Sen. Cory Booker (D) (D), who said he would introduce legislation that would eliminate the program and impose a 20-percent cap on the number and type of visas for which immigrants could apply.