In a House GOP conference meeting on Tuesday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy lit into an effort by some in the party to lead a discharge petition to force an amnesty bill to the floor of the House of Representatives.
“Our numbers are better,” McCarthy told House GOP members, per a source in the room. “If election is today we win. Will we continue to grow. But few things can disrupt us. We cannot disrupt ourselves. Intensity levels are still not there, and discharge petitions release the power of the floor that the American people gave us the responsibly to hold. When you release that power the majority goes to Nancy. If you want to depress intensity this is number one way to do it. We can debate internally but don’t let someone else like Nancy decide our future.”
McCarthy said that the discharge petition strategy ensures three things: First, the bill will never become law. Second, the effort will “depress our base.” And third, it takes “everyone down too.”
An additional source in the room told Breitbart News that McCarthy made clear this was the “surest way” to the minority for House Republicans.
“McCarthy laid down the marker that this is the surest way to the minority,” a source familiar with McCarthy’s remarks said. “The message was loud and clear.”
McCarthy’s throw down against the discharge petition effort, a rebuke of amnesty forces inside the GOP from the party’s number two official in House leadership, comes as a group of members have tried to use the tactic to bypass leadership to force a floor vote on amnesty legislation.
Breitbart News’ Neil Munro explained the discharge petition effort this way:
If the 17 GOP members can collect a total of 25 GOP signatures on their discharge petition, then 193 Democrats will join them to get the 218 signatures needed to stage a floor vote, despite leadership opposition. Their planned floor vote will be a rare “Queen of the Hill” debate around four bills. That plan will allow business-first GOP legislators to unite behind an amnesty bill that will pass with support from 193 Democrats — and also split their votes to ensure the failure of pro-American immigration bills.
All of this also comes as McCarthy will appear alongside President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the White House later on Wednesday to focus on efforts to combat sanctuary cities. The House passed Kate’s Law and another bill to combat sanctuary cities last summer, bills that have yet to come up for votes in the U.S. Senate.
“Thank you, Mr. President, for bringing us together and sharing your voice with millions of Americans who understand that the very premise of giving safe harbor to illegal felons is at odds with the laws of our nation,” McCarthy is expected to say at the White House, per a source familiar with his planned remarks. “I know the American people – and the Californians around this table and back home — appreciate your leadership on these issues.”
McCarthy will highlight how it is National Police Week and remember and honor immigration officers at the White House.
“These officers are sentinels for our Constitution, our borders—and for the rule of law itself,” McCarthy will say.
He will also discuss how Republicans, under Trump’s leadership, have stepped up on immigration enforcement.
“With your leadership, Mr. President — Republicans in Congress have proven that we are serious about addressing illegal immigration. That starts first and foremost with border security,” McCarthy will say. “We have stepped up enforcement efforts and set aside a billion dollars for a border wall. Construction is already under way.”
McCarthy will also hammer Democrat obstruction.
“Yes, America is making progress on illegal immigration. But every step of the way we have been opposed by Democrats and their idea of ‘sanctuary cities,’” McCarthy will say. “Their unprecedented campaign to decide which laws to follow and which ones to ignore has made it harder for lawful authorities to do their jobs. They are playing politics at the expense of the American people. Democratic obstruction is thwarting law enforcement operations. It is endangering our officers. It is shielding criminal aliens from detention and deportation. And it is only getting worse.”
And McCarthy will also say that enforcement and obeying of immigration ls “essential” not “optional.”
“Federal law is the supreme law of the land, and immigration laws are no different,” McCarthy will say. “Obeying these laws is not optional—it is essential to the good working order of our government. Federal immigration officers deserve our respect for the dangerous and difficult work they do. More than that, they deserve our full support. This administration and this House have their backs. I know the American people do, too.”