Rep. Mia Love has signed on to an effort to force a House vote on a series of immigration bills, including a measure to protect the so-called Dreamers.
The Hill reports Love is part of a legislative maneuver called a discharged petition, which would force legislation from a committee to the floor for a vote. The earliest the measure could come to the floor is July 23.
Republicans who support immigration reform have grown increasingly frustrated at leadership over inaction on the issue, and the filing of the petition is an attempt to go around leadership to force a vote on the floor.
The discharge petition would specifically force a vote on a “Queen of the Hill” rule that would lead to votes on a series of competing immigration proposals. Which ever measure won the most votes would be the legislation approved by the House. The Queen of the Hill rule that the GOP lawmakers have been pursuing would have the House choose between a hard-line proposal by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.); the DREAM Act, a proposal that would give a path to citizenship to 1.8 million Dreamers; the USA Act, a measure that would pair the Dream Act with $25 billion in border security funding; and a yet-unnamed proposal of Ryan’s choosing.
In a media release, Rep. Love said “For months, I have worked hard to advance bipartisan proposals through committees but have exhausted all options. “By signing this petition, I am joining my colleagues to facilitate long-awaited action. If we do nothing, we abdicate our responsibility to the Executive and Judiciary branches, who continue to shape immigration policy when they have no authority to do so.”
A spokesperson for Love’s Democratic opponent, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says they’ve been critical of Love’s inaction on this issue for months, and Wednesday’s decision smacks of political expediency.
“If it weren’t an election year I’d say we’re surprised that a Congresswoman who voted multiple times to defund DACA and deport these kids signed this petition. While this is a step in the right direction, the reality remains that Congress has had nine months to protect DREAMers and their families and has not taken a single vote to do so. Let’s hope this changes that.”