GOP mega-donor: I won't write any more checks until DACA is fixed

GOP mega-donor: I won't write any more checks until DACA is fixed
© Greg Nash

A Republican billionaire and health-care mogul is threatening to cut off his political contributions unless lawmakers take action on immigration.

“Over the last 10 years, the Republican Party has received $47 million from me, in state, gubernatorial and party contributions,” Mike Fernandez told Politico for a story published Tuesday.

“I’m not writing one penny to any of them anymore.”

Fernandez is among a number of GOP donors who want Congress to pass a legislative solution protecting recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpNYT publisher: US didn't step in to protect reporter from arrest in Egypt so paper turned to Ireland Trump instructed administration to withhold military aid for Ukraine days before call with president: report More Democrats threaten impeachment over Trump's dealings with Ukraine MORE rescinded last year.


Congress has been battling to come up with a fix for the hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who came to the country illegally.

Fernandez, a frequent critic of Trump's immigration policies who pledged more than $2 million to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump mocks Romney with video contrasting their presidential bids Whistleblower fuels impeachment talk Let's get real: Democrats were first to enlist Ukraine in US elections MORE in 2016, said he wants to punish lawmakers who will not sign a House discharge petition forcing a vote on immigration legislation, Politico reported.

“The discharge petition is to bring the issue to the floor and let a resolution come, if it comes from the White House, if it comes from Democrats, let it come through,” he said. "No one should have the authority to prohibit a debate on the House floor."

Discharge petitions force a vote without the consent of leadership. They are rarely successful and are often seen as a challenge to the party that holds the majority.

House Republican leaders said Tuesday night that they are making progress on a compromise immigration bill that they hope can get enough votes to pass, quelling a GOP rebellion.

Currently, just three more signatures are needed to hit the key 218 figure for the discharge petition, triggering a free-wheeling immigration debate.

“I have been a supporter of Speaker [Paul] Ryan [R-Wis.], I think he’s playing chicken and needs to get a backbone,” Fernandez told Politico.

Fernandez said he’s heard commitment from dozens of other donors in Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee who will not write checks to members of Congress who won’t stand up for DACA.

In February, the South Florida health-care magnate also pledged to withhold political contributions to candidates who didn't support gun control measures.