This afternoon, House Democrats continued their efforts to demand a vote on H.R. 15. At a hearing of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA), offered H.R. 15 as an amendment to the Republican budget. Cardenas spoke in favor of the amendment as did Representatives Kathy Castor (D-FL), Michelle Lujan Grisham D-NM), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and John Yarmuth (D-KY). Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Chair of the House Budget Committee and author of the underlying budget legislation, led the opposition to the amendment. It failed by a party-line vote of 15 – 21.
Ryan’s remarks were especially disingenuous, considering he purports to be a supporter of reform. He claimed that Republicans were working on a series of bills, touting the work of the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte, and the Chair of the Homeland Security Committee, Mike McCaul. Of course, he knows, like we all know, that Speaker Boehner has dismissed the idea that reform would make it to the House floor. Instead, the House leadership has found time to allow votes to end DACA — last June and last month.
Ryan repeatedly noted that the House Republicans were opposed to the Senate bill. Cardenas pointed out that HR 15 was not the Senate bill and, in fact, included language drafted by Rep. McCaul’s Homeland Security Committee. Ryan also kept castigating the Senate bill because it was a 1000 page bill. That is, of course, an absurd argument considering Ryan and his colleagues just passed a 959-page farm bill with only 48 hours to review it. H.R. 15 has been languishing for months.
Rep. Cardenas wasn’t finished even after his amendment lost. He tweeted to all the Republicans on the committee who voted no:
.@MarshaBlackburn, you voted no on CIR. I disagree. Let’s talk about how we can grow our economy $900 billion.
— Rep. Tony Cárdenas (@RepCardenas) April 2, 2014
House Democrats have decided to lean in to the immigration issue and are using every opportunity to bring attention to the issue and force a vote. But, Republicans keep blocking them. As Rep. Gutierrez noted today, time is running out for the GOP – and running out fast — as in the next three months.