Pro-Amnesty Lawmakers Push for DACA Votes
By Heather Ham-Warren | April 19, 2018
On Wednesday, Representative Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and a bipartisan group of lawmakers held a press conference outside the Capitol to push for a series of votes on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty bills. Additional members in attendance included Will Hurd (R-Texas), Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), and David Valadao (R-Calif.).
The topic of the press conference was a resolution introduced by Rep. Denham (H.Res.774) that would activate a little known and rarely used procedural rule referred to as “queen-of-the Hill.” Under this rule, multiple alternatives of the same issue may be voted on the floor of the House regardless of the results of any previous votes. Following all votes, the alternative with the most votes “wins” and is sent to the Senate for consideration. The four immigration-related bills that could be considered are: H.R. 4760, the Securing America’s Future Act; H.R. 3440, the Dream Act of 2017; H.R. 4796, the USA Act of 2018; and a fourth immigration bill to be chosen by the Speaker of the House.
When asked if the group would begin circulating a discharge petition to force leadership to call a vote on their resolution, Rep. Denham said they would not rule it out. He also stated that the resolution currently has the support of 237 members— well above the 218 needed to pass any legislation. However, it is unlikely that the rule would make it to the floor absent a successful discharge petition.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) dismissed the group’s efforts, noting that President Trump might not be supportive of the proposed measures. “I don’t want to spend our time bringing something through that I know is going to get vetoed,” the Speaker said last month.
It is also worth noting that even if the House could come to a consensus, the future of any legislation seems bleak, as the Senate already rejected similar versions of the bills in February.