Plan to Bring Reform to a Vote Stalled

Conservatives appear to have stalled reform effort.
Conservatives appear to have stalled reform effort.

One possible path to forcing a vote in the House of Representatives is the filing of what is called a “discharge petition. House rules allow a majority of Representatives to sign a petition that brings a bill to a vote even if the Speaker of the House tries to block it. It does not look like this path will be successful. Here is Politico’s report:

House Democrats haven’t launched a discharge petition on immigration just yet, but reform-friendly Republicans are already rejecting the idea.

Three House Republicans who have endorsed the Democrats’ comprehensive immigration reform legislation all said they will not sign onto any effort from Democrats to push a floor vote.

“No, there’s just no way,” said Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.), who co-sponsored the Democratic immigration bill last fall. “To play politics that way is not the way to get something this serious done.”

A spokesman for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said she would not sign one. And Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) also said he is a “no” on a discharge petition.

“I am interested in working through the committee process,” he said. “I’m going to continue to pressure and push my conference on coming to a solution and offering other bills.”

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.