Ryan of Wisconsin has said he opposes such a move because it would "turn the floor over to the minority" by using a vote process known as "queen of the hill" to send the bill with the most support to the Senate. If caucus members oppose the farm bill, it could derail its chances in the Republican-controlled chamber, where Democrats oppose it for changes it would make to nutrition assistance programs.
The House is debating the farm bill, with a final vote set for Friday.
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), the chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee who Democrats plan to target aggressively for defeat this fall in a Hispanic-heavy district, responded "every bit of it's true" when asked if the issue could have repercussions for the party in November if Republicans don't figure out a way to unify around a solution, saying that while he doesn't support the discharge petition it "forces our party to say more forthrightly where we are". He says farmers "want us to deal with immigration and the farm bill both". But this year's bill contains measures tightening work and job training requirements for food stamps, which have driven Democrats away.
Meadows says that "the time is now" to deal with immigration and that the farm bill doesn't face a pressing deadline.
Meadows said he's got "more than enough" conservative votes to kill the farm bill but declined to say how numerous 30-plus Freedom Caucus members were prepared to oppose the measure.
Still, the ultimate path for any immigration legislation, even if it were to pass the House, was unresolved.
"We've been promised. many many months ago that we would have a vote on Goodlatte", Meadows said.
"We wish to advance one thing that has an opportunity of going into legislation, the place the president would help it", Ryan stated.
The aim is to defuse a battle that has seen a group of GOP moderates try forcing House votes on four bills, over the objections of Republican leaders and conservative lawmakers.
Mr. Ryan and fellow GOP leaders are grappling with one of their biggest challenges yet with the Republican rebels speedily gathering signatures on the "discharge petition". GOP leaders and conservatives have denounced the moderates' effort and are trying to block it. Twenty Republicans have signed so far, just shy of the 25 who would be needed if all 193 Democrats add their names, as expected.
During a party-wide meeting Wednesday morning, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., dressed down the moderate rebels.
Since Democrats seem nearly unanimously against the farm bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) needs most Republicans to support it.
As for the conservatives, McCarthy told reporters on Thursday that he'd already promised the Freedom Caucus they would get a floor vote on the Goodlatte bill in June, so he didn't understand why they were now demanding a vote sooner.
Similarly, the leader of the moderate effort to force the DACA vote, California Rep. Jeff Denham, said his group was still full steam ahead - though he declined to directly answer whether leadership had made a commitment or promise to his side of the equation about a path forward.
And lawmakers across the ideological spectrum are exhausted of waiting.