Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday defended the $1.1 trillion 2016 spending deal amid growing criticism from conservatives that it heavily favors Democrats and pro-immigration groups by raising caps for low-skilled foreign workers, and imposing no new screening procedures for Syrian refugees.
"I think we got some good wins," Ryan told reporters during his weekly press conference. "Look, Democrats got some good wins too. That is the nature of bipartisan compromise."
Conservatives are balking at the deal, in large part because it raises caps for H-2B visas for low skilled foreign workers, which they say constitutes a major change to immigration policy. Conservatives have been growing increasingly angry about the visa provision.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., a leading low-immigration advocate in the Senate, said the clause is part of the reason "voters are in open rebellion" against mainstream GOP candidates and are instead embracing Donald Trump, who has promised to build a border fence and temporarily halt Muslims from entering the country.