US President Donald Trump may have doomed the chances for a House Republican immigration bill after urging party lawmakers to abandon the compromise effort they have been working on for weeks, the media reported.
The legislation was already on life support, with party leaders deciding on Thursday to postpone a vote to the following day as they struggled to garner enough support for the measure, reports The Hill magazine.
But Trump likely put the nail in the coffin, telling Republicans on Friday they should "stop wasting their time" on the divisive issue.
"Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November," Trump tweeted.
Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
"Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decade old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!"
Earlier in the week, Trump personally rallied members to support the immigration legislation - the product of weeks of delicate negotiations between centrists and conservatives - and told Republican lawmakers he was with them "1,000 per cent".
Trump's tweet caused an upheaval amongst members of his party, reports The Hill.
"Our conference is still in the throes of negotiations," said retiring Represetative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida.
"Torpedoed by tweet. Tweet-pedoed," centrist Representative Ryan Costello tweeted.
Republican leaders, however, say they are still aiming for a vote next week, with negotiations planned for this weekend. They also downplayed the potential impact of Trump's tweet.
The House on Thursday rejected a more hard-line immigration measure sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte in a 193-231 vote.
A vote on the compromise bill was initially scheduled for Thursday but then pushed back to Friday as it became clear there wasn't enough support for the measure.
Some party lawmakers also complained they didn't have enough time to read and digest the nearly 300-page measure that was rolled out late Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, some hard-line conservatives who are opposed to the compromise measure were cheering Trump's tweet on Friday, a sign of the impact they think it will have.