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Thread: Some Republicans reject Dem immigration tactic

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    May 2006

    Some Republicans reject Dem immigration tactic

    By SEUNG MIN KIM | 2/28/14 10:52 AM EST

    Jeff Denham says he wants immigration reform to go through the committee process. | AP Photo

    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.”

    The three lawmakers are the only House Republicans who have co-sponsored legislation spearheaded by Democrats that largely takes from the Senate-passed bill, but scales back its border-security provisions.

    A discharge petition is a procedural gambit that allows the minority party in the House — in this case, Democrats — to force a vote on the floor over the wishes of the majority leadership. Very few discharge petitions actually succeed, since it is considered a breach of party loyalty to sign onto an effort from the opposing party.

    Of course, securing the necessary 218 signatures on a discharge petition wouldn’t be the only goal of Democrats. Lawmakers are also hoping that the existence of a discharge petition on immigration will create enough pressure on Republicans to force the leadership to start moving reform bills on the House floor.

    House Democrats, who launched a discharge petition on minimum wage this week, are mulling a similar tactic on immigration. Some allies off Capitol Hill, such as the AFL-CIO, have been pushing them to do a discharge petition on immigration, and a trio of progressive groups began an online petition this week calling on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to launch the effort. That petition has garnered just over 32,000 signatures as of Friday morning.

    Meanwhile, the Democrats’ discharge petition on a federal minimum wage increase now has 189 signatures. As expected, none are Republicans.
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