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Thread: White House Sidesteps Tactic to Force House Immigration Vote

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    White House Sidesteps Tactic to Force House Immigration Vote

    February 20th 2014, 1:18 pm
    By Luke Russert
    NBC News

    As House Democrats mull a procedural tactic to force a vote on immigration reform legislation, the White House was cagey about whether it supports the maneuver.

    After House GOP leaders all but shelved immigration reform this year, the White House sidestepped questions about whether it backs what’s known as a “discharge petition” to force a vote on a House bill that closely mirrors the Senate-passed comprehensive immigration bill.

    “The president and this administration have committed to taking a step back and giving House Republicans the opportunity to consider a range of proposals … on immigration reform,” spokesman Josh Earnest said at a daily press briefing. “So, we're going to give House Republicans the opportunity to have some conversations among themselves.”

    A discharge petition is a parliamentary tactic used by a member of the House to force a floor vote on a piece of legislation over the opposition of the majority party’s leadership. It must garner a majority of signatures of the full House in order to move forward.

    Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., last week encouraged House Democrats to use such a maneuver. Many House Democrats believe they could find the 18 to 20 GOP votes they’d need to pass the Senate immigration bill if all Democrats also voted for the package. If nothing else, the tactic would increase pressure on Republicans and their speaker, John Boehner, to act on the issue.

    But House Democratic leaders are somewhat reluctant to use a discharge petition. Democrats last week announced they would use the tactic on a minimum wage law but declined to specify why they wouldn’t on immigration reform. Critics contend this is because immigration is a wedge issue the party can use effectively in 2014’s midterms – and even more so in 2016.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/cong...on-vote-n34891
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    Added to Homepage with slightly amended title:
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    Democrats Split on When to Push Immigration

    by William Bigelow 26 Feb 2014, 7:22 AM PDT
    breitbart.com

    House Democrats are divided on when to put immigration legislation on the floor for a vote, which they can force by using a discharge petition.

    The discharge petition would need a majority of lawmakers’ signatures. Because of the difficulty in coming up with those 216 signatures, which would have to include 17 GOP votes, some Democrats want to wait. Angela Kelley, the vice president of immigration policy for the Center for American Progress, said to wait until key primary filing deadlines pass.

    One Democratic leadership aide said of the petition, “I think it’s likely to happen. I think people just want to make sure the groups are in the right place.” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants a vote before May. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said, “Ultimately, a discharge petition may not be the tool that causes the Republican leadership to let the majority vote, but it increases the pressure, which is what we need.”

    Since the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill last June, the consensus was to avoid using the discharge petition and instead give House GOP members time to come up with their own legislation. However, Schumer said earlier this month he wanted to move forward with the petition, asserting that the only reason the House GOP was delaying immigration reform was that a “minority faction has scared Republicans.”

    Only three House Republicans have co-sponsored House Democratic immigration bills similar to the Senate’s, differing only in the elimination of the Senate’s border-security provisions.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Governm...on-Immigration
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