Amnesty ‘Discharge Petition’ Gains: Ryan Urges Bipartisan DACA Deal

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House Speaker Paul Ryan is calling for a bipartisan ‘DACA’ amnesty, as business-first Republicans gather signatures on their discharge-petition plan to push through a no-strings amnesty.

Ryan used his weekly press conference to criticize the discharge-petition plan, which would combine signatures from 25 Republicans and all 193 Democrats to vote through a no-strings amnesty for 3 million or more younger illegals. The petition plan would also torpedo the compromise reforms proposed by President Donald Trump and Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House judiciary committee.

“We never want to turn the floor over to the minority, and what I don’t want to do is just have a process that just ends up with a [presidential] veto,” Ryan told reporters on Thursday. He continued:

We actually want to solve the DACA problem … it is clear to us that we are going to have to have a bill that is bipartisan, but one that the president can support. That is what we are working on right now…

I want to fix this problem, so I would like  to have an immigration vote before the midterms, but I want to have a vote on something that could make it into law. I don’t want to have show ponies, I want to have actual law, and that mean the White House has to be part of this.

But the Democrats have already rejected multiple bipartisan proposals from the GOP, said Virginia GOP Rep. Dave Brat. The reform bill offered by Goodlatte “is the compromise,” said Brat, adding:

The Goodlatte bill deals with the 700,000 ‘DACA’ [people] who have that status, and the Democrats said no after asking for that… [President Donald] Trump gave them an even bigger offer of 2 million DACA, and the Democrats said no to that.

The “bipartisan compromise” only seems to be a Republican compromise — it never seems to be a Democratic compromise.

Ryan needs to start whipping the GOP caucus to get behind the Goodlatte bill, said Brat. “It is called ‘whip’ for a reason – [and] we want leadership to whip and push for the Goodlatte bill … that is rational policy.”

Sources say the Goodlatte bill is 30 or 40 votes short of the 218 votes need to pass the House, partly because business groups oppose Goodlatte’s long-term reductions in chain migration even though it also increases the inflow of foreign white-collar graduates, nurses, and farm workers.

Democrats oppose the Goodlatte bill because it ends chain migration, improves border security, limits the inflow of asylum seekers and curbs separationist efforts by so-called “sanctuary cities.”

The discharge petition push is driving the debate because it allows 25 Republicans to ally with 193 Democrats to push an amnesty bill to a floor vote, regardless of opposition from the GOP’s leadership.

The pending petition would schedule a rare “Queen of the Hill” debate where House legislators could vote for or against several of four rival immigration and amnesty legislative packages.

In any debate, Democrats will likely vote as a bloc for a no-strings amnesty bill. That amnesty bill would be pushed by business lobbyists who likely can deliver enough votes from a bloc of business-first GOP legislators to win 218 votes in the House, and passage of an amnesty.

The amnesty is backed by business groups because it would provide them with extra labor needed to stop wage increases in a tight labor market, and also because it would block the reforms pushed by Trump and Goodlatte.

The “Queen of the Hill” process would provide cover to the pro-amnesty Republicans because they would please donors by passing the Democrats’ amnesty after backing the Goodlatte reform, which is unlikely to get 218 votes. “That is why it is structured that way,” said Brat.

The eighteenth Republican to join the discharge petition group is California Rep. Steve Knight, leaving the petition only seven signature short of the 25 needed to let Democrats pass a no-strings amnesty legislation through the House.

The discharge petition plan is “never good,” said Brat. “It is clearly a minority of the minority, and they are pushing it with the Democrats over the entire GOP body, which is fairly shocking.”

The process would lead to passage of “the worst amnesty bill ever,” he said. It would exclude vital reforms, such as mandatory E-verify, curbs on sanctuary cities, border reforms to exclude economic migrants and reforms to block legal visitors from overstaying their visas, he said.

Democratic Rep. Dianne DeGette has also signed the discharge petition, making her the first of 193 Democrats who are expected to use the petition to pass an amnesty bill.

“Leadership is on TV saying this is no way to go, but we need to hear they will not allow it,” said Brat.  Legislators are “waiting to hear how [Ryan] is going to stop this group,” and is ensuring that the vital decisions are made by the caucus, not by cliques or by small leadership groups, he added

“We just had an election on [amnesty] … the American people reject that,” he said.

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