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FACT CHECK: Rep. Mike Coffman Claims Immigration Bills Cleared House

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Big Media today has a fact-check on an allegation Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) made last week during a debate with Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff, in which Coffman said that immigration bills cleared the House.  Here’s the quote (@21:45):

I think both parties have it wrong right now. I think on the left it’s, unless we get everything, then nothing will move. And in fact, individual bills have moved over to the Senate. And Harry Reid would not take it up because it was not quote-unquote comprehensive. And then on my side of the aisle, you know, we’ve got to get moving. And I’ve worked with my folks on the Republican side to get them moving. And so I think there’s got to be a middle path. And that middle path is a step-by-step approach.

Here’s the problem with Coffman’s assertion.  As Big Media points out, “He’d have been wrong even if he’d said a singular immigration bill cleared the U.S. House. But he said “bills” plural, multiplying his apparent mistake.”

In the last year and a half of this Congressional session, the House has voted on absolutely nothing that could be considered an immigration reform bill.  Check out this scorecard where we’ve been keeping track of all immigration-related full House votes, as well as how key Republicans like Coffman and his colleague Cory Gardner (R-CO) have voted.  What are these votes?

  • House Republicans have tried to deport DREAMers no less than four times.  During the last of these votes (the one on August 1, 2014), Coffman and Gardner finally clued in and realized they probably shouldn’t be voting to deport DREAMers in an election year when they’re running in a state with a 13% Latino electorate.
  • House Republicans pushed through a vote on the child tax credit (7/25/14), which would have prevented undocumented immigrants from accessing the credit.  As Big Media puts it, “no reasonable person would call this immigration reform.”
  • They also voted on a border supplemental (8/1/14), which would have expedited the removal of Central American children fleeing violence — thereby surely sending more children to their deaths.  Again, not something anyone would consider immigration reform.
  • On March 28, 2014, the House voted yes on a previous question called by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) — and the fact of this is actually a direct refutation of Coffman’s claim.  If the previous question had failed, then the comprehensive House immigration bill HR 15 would have come up for a vote, in which case it likely would’ve passed.  Coffman voted against this scenario, meaning that he blocked the House from passing a real immigration bill, contradicting his statement from the debate that the House has cleared legislation.

We’ll let Big Media finish it up:

Coffman himself made a big deal a year ago about supporting “comprehensive” immigration reform, but now he’s calling for a step-by-step approach. But he has yet to define, in any meaningful and specific way, the legislation or steps he supports to reform immigration.

Romanoff, who supports the Senate immigration bill, said as much during the debate, when he pointed out that Coffman’s “step-by-step” won’t work if steps aren’t taken.