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GOP lawmakers back discharge petition to force immigration votes

GOP lawmakers back discharge petition to force immigration votes
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Fifteen House Republicans have signed on to a discharge petition filed Wednesday that is intended to force votes on a series of immigration measures — including legislation to protect so-called Dreamers.

The discharge petition, which is intended to force legislation from a committee, would lead to a floor vote if a majority of House members sign on to it.

Democrats have been pressing for an immigration vote in the House and would be expected to back the petition. If all House Democrats sign it, it would need 25 Republican signatories to force a vote. 

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GOP Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloThe Memo: Historic vote leaves Trump more isolated than ever The Memo: GOP and nation grapple with what comes next House Hispanic Republicans welcome four new members MORE (Fla.) filed the motion, and was quickly joined by Republican Reps. Jeff DenhamJeffrey (Jeff) John DenhamBusiness groups breathe sigh of relief over prospect of divided government Ex-RNC, Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy charged in covert lobbying scheme Bottom line MORE (Calif.), Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdFormer Rep. Will Hurd announces book deal House poised to override Trump veto for first time Lawmakers call for including creation of Latino, women's history museums in year-end spending deal MORE (Texas), Mario Díaz Balart (Fla.) and David ValadaoDavid Goncalves ValadaoScars of Capitol attack permeate high-security inauguration Upton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? MORE (Calif.) as initial sponsors.

All five are in competitive races this year. The Cook Political Report lists Curbelo's and Denham's races as tossups.

By midafternoon, 15 Republicans had signed the petition.
 
 
They were followed by Reps. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder Dent22 retired GOP members of Congress call for Trump's impeachment Seven Senate races to watch in 2022 The magnificent moderation of Susan Collins MORE (Pa.), Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonState-level Republicans wracked by division after Trump's loss On The Trail: Little GOP interest in post-election introspection Upton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents MORE (R-Mich.), Dave ReichertDavid (Dave) George ReichertRep. Kim Schrier defends Washington House seat from GOP challenger Washington Rep. Kim Schrier wins primary Mail ballot surge places Postal Service under spotlight MORE (Wash.), Mike CoffmanMichael (Mike) Howard CoffmanColorado governor says he was not exposed to COVID-19 after Aurora mayor tests positive Colorado mayor says he called protesters 'domestic terrorists' out of 'frustration' Colorado governor directs officials to reexamine death of Elijah McClain in police custody MORE (Colo.), Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsPresidential pardons need to go Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Pardon talk intensifies as Trump approaches final 24 hours in office MORE (N.Y.), John FasoJohn James FasoDemocrats go big on diversity with new House recruits Kyle Van De Water wins New York GOP primary to challenge Rep. Antonio Delgado The most expensive congressional races of the last decade MORE (N.Y.), Mark AmodeiMark Eugene AmodeiHouse Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit Bipartisan lawmakers call for Postal Service relief Mnuchin details IRS challenges with cash-only marijuana businesses MORE (Nev.) and Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikHouse Republicans ask for briefing on threats keeping National Guard in DC Lincoln Project hits Stefanik in new ad over support for Trump Wyoming county votes to censure Liz Cheney for Trump impeachment vote MORE (R-N.Y.).
 
Republicans who support immigration reform have grown increasingly frustrated at leadership over inaction on the issue, and the filing of the petition is an attempt to go around leadership to force a vote on the floor.

The discharge petition would specifically force a vote on a "Queen of the Hill" rule that would lead to votes on a series of competing immigration proposals. Which ever measure won the most votes would be the legislation approved by the House.  

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBiden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Inauguration Day Revising the pardon power — let the Speaker and Congress have voices MORE (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress McCarthy to meet with Trump in Florida Video shows Rep. Greene calling Parkland shooting survivor a 'coward' MORE (R-Calif.) dismissed the Queen of the Hill proposal when it was presented. That proposal garnered 248 co-sponsors, including 52 Republicans.

If the discharge petition does get 218 votes — per House rules, a discharge needs a majority of total membership regardless of vacancies — seven legislative days would have to pass before a floor vote. 

The House would then vote on the measure on either the second or fourth Monday of the month. No House votes are scheduled on a second or fourth Monday until July 23.
 
In rejecting the earlier push for a vote, Ryan has stuck to a promise he made to immigration hard-liners not to call a vote on the issue unless half the Republican Conference supports the measure.

The four proposals are all meant as a legislative replacements for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which President TrumpDonald TrumpFBI says California extremist may have targeted Newsom House Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Facebook to dial back political content on platform MORE rescinded in September.

Under DACA, around 690,000 Dreamers — immigrants who arrived in the country illegally as minors — were protected from deportation and allowed to work and go to school in the United States.

The Queen of the Hill rule that the GOP lawmakers have been pursuing would have the House choose between a hard-line proposal by Rep. Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteBottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden Press: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself MORE (R-Va.); the DREAM Act, a proposal that would give a path to citizenship to 1.8 million Dreamers; the USA Act, a measure that would pair the Dream Act with $25 billion in border security funding; and a yet-unnamed proposal of Ryan's choosing.

Trump originally gave Congress until March 5 to find a replacement for DACA, but courts blocked Trump's rescission, extending the program and, for the time being, rendering the deadline moot.

Updated at 12:35 p.m.