Two Democratic holdouts have signaled their support for the immigration vote for the House floor, bringing supporters within three signatures from the needed 218 to trigger a showdown on the fate of tons of Dreamers.
Texas Democratic Reps. Filemon Vela and Vicente Gonzalez announced on Tuesday they may sign onto a discharge petition being circulated by backers in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era initiative canceled by President Mr . trump recently.
Story Continued Below
"By signing this discharge petition, I so with all the intent of giving 800,000 adolescents – young Americans – reassurance and also the power to be in really the only country they call home," Gonzalez and Vela said in a very joint statement.
Moderate Republicans who support DACA, led by Reps. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.), Will Hurd (Texas) and Jeff Denham (Calif.), unveiled a discharge petition last month that might setup floor votes on four immigration proposals. Under the procedural maneuver, the program most abundant in votes over 218 would pass.
With nearly two dozen Republicans having already signed on top of the petition – in a direct challenge to Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) – House GOP leaders happen to be scrambling behind the scenes to stop a greater portion of their rank-and-file members from backing the initiative.
GOP lawmakers hold a closed-door meeting on Thursday to resolve the intra-party dispute. Ryan along with other party leaders will see with pro and anti-DACA Republicans on Wednesday, GOP aides said.
Within an interview on Tuesday, Vela said he and Gonzalez changed the minds of men having spent one week home in districts that both touch the U.S.-Mexico border. And also listening to Dreamers and families, both men saw the impact of Trump’s decision to part ways families crossing the border in close proximity.
“Vince and i also decided that it is quite difficult because I still aren’t happy with this process but taking it all in balance, we made the joint decision to sign the release petition,” Vela said.
“At no more a single day, our decisions are on the odometer by our local politics this also had been a vital issue to folks I spoken with here over the last week and that’s what drove my decision,” Vela added, noting they got zero outside pressure from Democratic leadership to sign the petition.
The Texas Democrat said he offers to formally sign towards the discharge petition the moment he gets back to Washington but noted his flight back in the Lone Star State just canceled and then he may miss Tuesday evening votes.
Yet another Democrat, Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas), has yet to sign the petition, but multiple Democratic sources said they assume he could change his mind if he’s the lone holdout. A spokeswoman for Cuellar didn’t return a get comment.
Whether or not Cuellar ultimately signs on, two more Republicans it’s still found it necessary to get the required 218 signatures. One source with information about the negotiations said Republican DACA supporters were targeting Reps. Daniel Newhouse (R-Wash.) and Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), who may be retiring, because final two signees.