3:20 am

  Local News
  State / National / World
  Opinion / Letters
  Arts / Entertainment
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  DJ Designers
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
House Democrats trying to force vote on immigration
March 27, 2014, 05:00 AM By Donna Cassata The Associated

WASHINGTON — House Democrats deployed a little-used legislative move Wednesday to force a vote on a comprehensive immigration bill, an effort doomed to fail but designed to increase the election-year pressure on Republicans to act.

“It is time for us to have a vote,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., who joined with dozens of Democrats, advocates and actress America Ferrera to mark 273 days since the Senate passed a bipartisan bill. They insisted that House Republican leaders act.

Standing on the east steps of the Capitol in a light snow and biting wind, proponents argued that they had the necessary votes in the House for a bill that would provide a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally and tighten border security.

“We’re tired of the House of Representatives leaders and their refusal to act,” Ferrera said.

Democrats introduced a discharge petition that requires the signature of 218 for legislative action, an effort that stands little chance of success as Republicans, even those supportive of immigration legislation, are unwilling to defy their leadership. By the end of Wednesday’s House session, 149 of the chamber’s 199 Democrats had signed the petition.

Democrats would need the backing of dozens of Republican to force a vote.

The GOP is reluctant to consider the divisive issue in an election year, especially with all signs pointing to major gains for Republicans in the November midterms.

After months of conciliatory talk, President Barack Obama issued a statement praising the Democratic effort and chastising the Republicans.

“Immigration reform is the right thing to do for our economy, our security and our future,” Obama said. “A vast majority of the American people agree. The only thing standing in the way is the unwillingness of Republicans in Congress to catch up with the rest of the country.”

The Senate passed a comprehensive bill last June, but the measure has stalled in the GOP-controlled House where Republicans have argued for a piecemeal approach to reforming the system. That effort has gone nowhere as bills approved by the Judiciary Committee last summer have languished.

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other GOP leaders unveiled a set of immigration principles in January, but rank-and-file members balked at moving ahead on any legislation. Boehner attributed the GOP roadblock to a collective distrust of Obama to enforce any new laws.

Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, dismissed the Democratic procedural move, pointing to Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi’s admission earlier this month that they wouldn’t get the necessary 218 votes.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who helped craft the Senate bill, said he understands that “people are under political constraints, but those who believe in immigration reform but refuse to sign the petition have an obligation to propose a viable alternative that gets an immigration bill signed into law.”

The reluctance among House Republicans comes despite business groups, unions, religious leaders and other activists banding together to push for immigration legislation. National Republicans also have argued that failure to act this year could cost the GOP politically in presidential elections.

Opposition remains strong among some in the GOP who see the legislation as amnesty and detrimental to U.S. workers.

“Incredibly, House Democrats have unified behind an immigration bill that would double the inflow of new guest workers competing against jobless Americans in every single U.S. occupation - from engineering to teaching to manufacturing,” said Stephen Miller, a spokesman for Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the Budget Committee.



Tags: republicans, house, immigration, democrats, leaders, effort,

Other stories from today:


Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
Return To Archives

Daily Journal Quick Poll
Do you agree with Gov. Brown signing The End of Life Option Act, which allows terminally ill patients to end their lives with the help of a doctor?

Yes, it will allow those with terminal conditions to die with dignity
No, doctors are sometimes too hasty in determining someone is terminally ill
Not sure


United States, 11 Pacific Rim countries reach trade deal
WASHINGTON — Having hammered out an ambitious trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim countries, the Obama ..
California governor signs right-to-die legislation
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Monday allowing terminally ill people in the nati..
US commander says Afghans requested US airstrike in Kunduz
WASHINGTON — Afghan forces who reported being under Taliban fire requested the U.S. airstrike that..
Three share Nobel medicine prize for tropical disease drugs
STOCKHOLM — A Chinese scientist who turned to ancient texts to discover a powerful malaria drug sh..
More >>  

©2015 San Mateo Daily Journal
Belmont news