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Trump surprise rattles GOP in final stretch

President TrumpDonald John TrumpActivists call on DC officials to rename street in front of Saudi embassy after Khashoggi Five takeaways from the final Indiana Senate debate Avenatti says FBI told him he was targeted by alleged mail bomber MORE’s plan to finish birthright citizenship has tossed a grenade into the ultimate stretch of the midterm elections, roiling centrist Republicans and additional endangering a Home majority already liable to slipping away.

Whereas Trump’s proposal might enhance Senate GOP candidates and earned applause from allies resembling Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamFive takeaways from the final Indiana Senate debate Vulnerable Senate Dem open to legislation ending birthright citizenship Trump plans executive order to end birthright citizenship MORE (R-S.C.), others fear it might harm the occasion’s probabilities in key suburban swing districts — essential territory to retaining the Home.

Trump’s name to alter the Structure through govt order additionally struck a discordant observe with a GOP convention that filed courtroom briefs in a lawsuit in opposition to former President Obama’s govt actions on immigration. 

“Nicely, you clearly can not do this. You can’t finish birthright citizenship with an govt order,” Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump plans executive order to end birthright citizenship Conway’s husband pens op-ed calling Trump’s birthright proposal ‘unconstitutional’ Trump visits Pittsburgh synagogue MORE (R-Wis.) informed Lexington, Ky., radio station WVLK. “We didn’t prefer it when Obama tried altering immigration legal guidelines through govt motion, and clearly as conservatives, we imagine within the Structure.”

Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloTrump plans executive order to end birthright citizenship The Hill’s 12:30 Report GOP lawmaker: Trump ‘cannot amend Constitution or laws via executive order’ MORE (R-Fla.), who supported immigration reform efforts this summer season and is locked in a troublesome reelection battle in his Miami-area district, blasted Trump over the proposed transfer.

“Birthright citizenship is protected by the Structure, so no @realDonaldTrump you may’t finish it by govt order,” Curbelo tweeted. “What we actually want is broad immigration reform that makes our nation safer and reaffirms our fantastic custom as a nation of immigrants.”

Trump’s vow appeared geared toward stoking his base, however the response from Republicans indicated they’re more and more anxious about how the combat to retain their Home majority goes.

Rep. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockElection Countdown: One week from midterms | House battlefield expands | Trump doubles down on immigration | GOP campaign chief rebukes Steve King | Clinton team quiets 2020 talk | Sanders won’t promise to serve full Senate term House Majority PAC cancels ads for Comstock race The Hill’s Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — One week to the midterms: Election handicappers weigh in MORE (Va.), one of the vital weak GOP lawmakers, panned Trump’s plan whereas skirting direct criticism of Trump. Her race is now thought-about “lean Democratic” by the nonpartisan Cook dinner Political Report, and a Democratic-aligned PAC canceled its remaining $800,000 in scheduled TV advertisements in an indication of rising confidence.

It’s potential Trump’s proposal might assist GOP Senate candidates in states resembling North Dakota and Montana, the place Republicans are attempting to realize seats. Nevertheless it could possibly be detrimental to different Senate GOP candidates resembling Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerPoll: Cruz lead over O’Rourke shrinks to 5 points Biggest election winner? Polarization in America The Hill’s Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Tensions boil over in Washington after bomb scares MORE in Nevada or Gov. Rick Scott in Florida. 

Scott, who’s in a decent race with Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonElection Countdown: One week from midterms | House battlefield expands | Trump doubles down on immigration | GOP campaign chief rebukes Steve King | Clinton team quiets 2020 talk | Sanders won’t promise to serve full Senate term Scott walks away when asked about Trump plan to end birthright citizenship José Andrés endorses Nelson in Florida Senate race MORE (D-Fla.), didn’t reply a query concerning the challenge at a information convention Tuesday. His workplace later despatched out a press release saying he wanted to totally overview the proposal.

Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFive takeaways from the final Indiana Senate debate Trump visits Pittsburgh synagogue McConnell backs death penalty in Pittsburgh, Louisville shootings MORE (R-Ky.) was silent concerning the challenge Tuesday. 

Trump’s proposal is simply the most recent escalation of his hard-line immigration rhetoric, which has ramped up within the closing weeks earlier than Election Day. 

The president stated in an interview with Axios that he deliberate to have an govt order drafted that will terminate birthright citizenship for infants of noncitizens who’re born on U.S. soil. The president stated he already ran the concept by his authorized counsel and that “it can occur,” although he didn’t provide a timeline.

“It was at all times informed to me that you simply wanted a constitutional modification. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump informed Axios. 

Some Home Republicans accused Trump of wounding his personal occasion with the remarks.

“Everyone knows challenges of suburban R’s,” tweeted retiring Rep. Ryan CostelloRyan Anthony CostellloBirthright citizenship vow shows Trump doubling down on immigration gambit GOP lawmaker rips Trump for Stormy Daniels attack: This is ‘unbecoming of any man’ Trump goes on 12-tweet Twitter tirade MORE (R-Pa.). “So now POTUS, out of nowhere, brings birthright citizenship up. Apart from being primary tenet of America, it’s political malpractice.” 

Trump is barnstorming the nation within the closing week earlier than the election, however his schedule suggests a give attention to the Senate, with stops in Florida, Missouri, Montana, Tennessee and Indiana.

Home Republicans preventing to restrict their losses are positive to see candidates confronted with questions on their positions on Trump’s birthright citizenship plan, placing centrists in a troublesome place.

“I imagine within the Structure and don’t suppose this works,” Rep. Tom ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedCook shifts 8 House races toward Dems Democrats see hypocrisy in GOP attacks on ‘liberal mob’ GOP on timing of Haley’s announcement: ‘Unusual’ and ‘odd’ MORE (R-N.Y.), co-chairman of the bipartisan Downside Solvers Caucus, stated in a press release gently pushing again at Trump. 

“What we have to do is repair the damaged border via a wall and know-how,” stated Reed, whose race is rated as “possible Republican.” 

“On the similar time, I admire the president attempting to unravel the issue, however imagine one of the best ways is to take motion in Congress to safe the border after which depart it to the folks on this via a constitutional modification to handle the birthright concern,” he stated.

Reed was one in all 23 Republicans who signed a discharge petition that will have pressured flooring motion on a collection of immigration payments this summer season if it had sufficient signatures. 

The hassle was led by centrist Republicans like Curbelo who had been anxious about their reelection probabilities, particularly after Trump rescinded an Obama-era program defending immigrants who got here to the nation illegally as youngsters.

Endangered Rep. Mia LoveLudmya (Mia) LoveElection Countdown: One week from midterms | House battlefield expands | Trump doubles down on immigration | GOP campaign chief rebukes Steve King | Clinton team quiets 2020 talk | Sanders won’t promise to serve full Senate term Poll: Dem challenger leading Mia Love in Utah House race Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel MORE (R-Utah), the daughter of Haitian immigrants and one of many discharge petition signers, pushed again in opposition to Trump’s proposed govt order.

“I’ve at all times opposed Presidential makes an attempt to alter immigration regulation unilaterally,” Love stated in a press release. “The Structure provides Congress, not the President, the facility to ‘set up a uniform rule of naturalization’ and the 14th Modification makes the situations of citizenship clear: people born on this nation are residents. The Govt can not unilaterally change these details.”

One other petition backer, Rep. Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartFormer TV journalist gives GOP rare dose of hope in Florida The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Trump rips ‘ridiculous’ spending bill | FBI dragged into new fight | Latest on Maryland shooting Jeb Bush campaigns with Rick Scott in Florida MORE (R-Fla.), additionally got here out in opposition to the plan.

“I strongly disagree with the proposed govt order. As a Member of Congress, I take an oath to help the US Structure,” Diaz-Balart stated in a press release.

Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseDon Lemon: ‘Right-winger’ responsible for synagogue shooting; ‘I don’t see Democrats killing people’ The Hill’s Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Final stretch to the midterms amid backdrop of violence The real FBI gets its man MORE (R-La.), who’s aiming to maneuver up the management ladder, expressed openness to the proposal and praised the president for his effort, although he didn’t weigh in on whether or not he thinks the plan is constitutional. 

“I’m glad that the president is pursuing all of the choices which are accessible to him,” Scalise informed Fox Information. “I’d prefer to see us, once more, get again to rule of regulation.”

However high conservatives, together with Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTrump plans executive order to end birthright citizenship Silence of ‘the lambs’: The deafening quietude of the FISA court and John Roberts Beleaguered FBI scores much-needed win MORE (R-N.C.) and former chairman Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanTrump plans executive order to end birthright citizenship Silence of ‘the lambs’: The deafening quietude of the FISA court and John Roberts House Republicans postpone Rosenstein interview MORE (R-Ohio), who’s working for Speaker, didn’t weigh in.

Within the Senate, Trump’s proposal appeared to obtain a hotter reception from some members.

Graham enthusiastically embraced the concept and shortly introduced his personal plans to introduce comparable laws.

“Lastly, a president keen to tackle this absurd coverage of birthright citizenship,” Graham stated in a string of tweets. “I’ve at all times supported complete immigration reform — and on the similar time — the elimination of birthright citizenship.”

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll: Cruz leads O’Rourke by 10 points in Texas Senate race Movie theater chain encourages employees to vote by opening late on election day EXIM Bank’s fate is tied to the outcome of Senate midterms MORE (R-Texas), who’s going through a surprisingly aggressive problem from Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), additionally voiced help for eliminating birthright citizenship.

Cruz informed The Dallas Morning Information that birthright citizenship encourages folks to interrupt the regulation. 

“Certainly, there’s a follow often called start tourism, the place ladies who’re of their eighth or ninth month of being pregnant come to America on a vacationer visa particularly to provide start in the US,” he stated.

Jordain Carney and Scott Wong contributed.

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