House Dems ramp up pressure on GOP over immigration

House Democratic leaders are renewing their pressure on Republicans over immigration this week in hopes of forcing a vote on a comprehensive bill.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's office on Tuesday touted a new report by the Congressional Budget Office that said an immigration proposal offered in the fall by House Democrats, modeled largely after a Senate-approved plan, would reduce federal deficits by $200 billion in the coming decade.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gestures while speaking during a news conference on Capitol Hill on Sept. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The House plan, like the Senate plan, would provide a path to legal status, and potential citizenship, for millions of undocumented immigrants, providing a boost to economic output and eventually increase wages broadly for American workers, the CBO found.

Like the Senate bill, the House version also "would lead to a significant reduction in federal budget deficits during the second decade after enactment," CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said in a letter to Pelosi (D-Calif.). The CBO previously found the Senate plan would reduce deficits by $700 million in the second decade.

On Wednesday, Pelosi and other Democrats plan to file a discharge petition in an attempt to force a vote on their immigration bill, though the odds of such a strategy receiving enough GOP support are remote. The petition has 200 co-sponsors, including three Republicans, but that's short of the 218 that would be needed to force Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to hold a vote.

Boehner has said he does not expect the House to take action on a comprehensive immigration bill until President Obama improves trust between the White House and GOP House members. Many House Republicans oppose providing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and others have objected to holding a vote on a comprehensive bill before the midterm elections.

“It’s time to have a vote,” said Rep. Xaiver Becerra (D-Calif.), chair of the House Democratic Caucus. “Put country before party and have a vote on finally fixing a broken immigration system."

"We are asking for a vote," House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said. "Let Americans see what their members are prepared to do to fix a broken system.”

Wesley Lowery contributed to this report.

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.
Show Comments



Most Read Politics
Next Story
Sean Sullivan · March 25, 2014