A seldom used rule would put pressure on Speaker Ryan to bring the DREAM Act and other immigration bills to the floor.
Young immigrants protected by the DACA program are in limbo right now since the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was cancelled by President Trump last year. Now we’re hearing rumblings of Republicans, including at least one from Texas, trying a new strategy to get a DACA vote in Congress.
Lindsey McPherson, a reporter for Roll Call, says the rule could force the House to call a vote on immigration bills, including DACA, which seemed to be dead after the March 5 deadline set by President Trump.
“Specifically the Democrats have been talking about three bills – the DREAM Act, the Hurd-Aguilar bill and the Goodlatte bill,” she says.
The DREAM Act would provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. The Hurd-Aguilar bill is more of a compromise by a partisan measure that does provide a permanent solution for DREAMers, as well as some border security, but not as much as some Republicans would want. The Goodlatte bill proposes a temporary status for DACA recipients.
Moderate Republican Jeff Denham announced the resolution setting up the “queen of the hill” rule.
“The way the queen of the hill rule works, if it were to go into effect, is that the House would vote on all four measures and whichever one got the most votes above the simple majority threshold, it would become the House-passed measure,” McPherson said.
McPherson says Denham’s goal is to have the House debate and vote on those immigration bills that offer replacements for the DACA program, but he refused to commit to filing one measure if his plan to put pressure on Speaker Ryan fails.
“The reason they have been pushing this strategy is that the Hurd-Aguilar bill would prevail in this scenario and I believe the Republicans who signed on this as well believe that, too,” McPherson said. “That creates no incentive for Speaker Ryan to bring this rule to the floor, though, because he doesn’t want to move forward with that, knowing that the President does not support the Hurd-Aguilar bill and would basically veto it.”