House GOP discharge petition supporter says he likely won’t sign a second one

House GOP discharge petition supporter says he likely won’t sign a second one
© Greg Nash

A Republican supporter of the effort to force bipartisan immigration bills to the floor said Thursday that he likely won't endorse another discharge petition, even if both GOP-backed Dreamer bills fail this week.

Rep. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsOn The Money: US farm export prices fall at steep rate | Dems say they will sue to keep Collins on ballot | Turkey threatens boycott of US electronics Dems say they’ll sue to keep Collins on ballot The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s GOP feuds dominate ahead of midterms MORE of New York, one of 23 Republicans who signed the initial discharge petition put forth by Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloGOP lawmaker: Every white suburban district in the country will be a swing district this year The Hill's Morning Report — Election Day drama for Trump Trump sides with conservatives on shutdown messaging MORE (R-Fla.), said he probably won’t support a similar effort in the future.

"I’m pretty much a lean no,” Collins told The Hill. “I won't say I'm a hard no, but I'm probably a no.”


The loss of Collins’s signature would be a blow to Curbelo and other centrist Republicans vowing to launch a second discharge petition to force votes to salvage the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program if a pair of related, partisan bills fail this week.

The first proposal, sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteHouse GOP prepares to grill DOJ official linked to Steele dossier Goodlatte's son 'embarrassed' his father's 'grandstanding' got Strzok fired Top GOP lawmaker’s son gives maximum donation to Dem running for his seat MORE (R-Va.), was rejected in a 193-231 vote Thursday afternoon. The second bill, a more moderate proposal offering citizenship to Dreamers, is slated for a vote on Friday — a day later than initially scheduled to allow GOP leaders more time to rally support for the measure.

Centrists had gathered 216 signatures on their initial discharge petition — two shy of the 218 needed to force four competing DACA bills to the floor — before Republican leaders intervened with their two-vote strategy.

By the rules of the House, no bill that’s already received a vote on the floor — even if it fails — can be discharged by the petition route. Because the Goodlatte measure was central to the discharge petition, and has already seen action on the floor, supporters of the petition will have to start from scratch.

“We’ll have to start all over again,” Rep. Jeff DenhamJeffrey (Jeff) John DenhamPolice chief ‘disgusted’ after his son charged in attack of 71-year-old Sikh man Police make arrests in attack of 71-year-old Sikh man Sikh man attacked, told to go back to country while posting campaign signs supporting GOP lawmaker MORE (R-Calif.), a centrist Republican, told The Hill last week.

Collins said he endorsed the initial petition to force action on provisions in the Goodlatte bill that would bolster a work visa program that’s crucial to the dairy farmers in his district. A second petition, he predicted, would likely feature a bipartisan DACA proposal sponsored by Reps. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdJuan Williams: What does Putin have on Trump? GOP lawmaker: Trump was ‘manipulated’ by Putin Schiff: Trump is acting like someone who is compromised MORE (R-Texas) and Peter Aguilar (D-Calif.) that doesn’t include the agricultural component.

“It was always the agricultural piece I was pushing the hardest, and it’s not going to be in any other bill,” Collins said. “Just a stand-alone Hurd-Aguilar [bill] is probably not something I’d sign on to.”

Furthering the difficulties facing petition proponents is the fact that another Republican supporter, former-Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentElection handicapper moves GOP leader's race to 'toss-up' The Hill's 12:30 Report Lawmakers, media team up for charity tennis event MORE (R-Pa.), resigned from Congress last month.