This morning, we highlighted an Arizona Daily Star editorial supporting the CIR ASAP bill recently introduced in the House, and encouraged the introduction of similar legislation. As we wrote last week, the death of the House Gang of 7 potentially presages an exciting new phase in this year’s fight for immigration reform, one that could bring a variety of bill introductions from various House members (on both sides of the aisle) designed to force one thing: a vote on immigration reform.
Today, Greg Sargent at the Washington Post writes about how Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is gearing up to introduce such a bill:
With House Republicans seemingly stalling on immigration reform, Nancy Pelosi has hit on a plan that is designed to force them to deal with it this fall.
Within the next two weeks, Pelosi may introduce a version of the Senate immigration reform bill in the House, in an effort to pressure House Republicans to sign on as co-sponsors, according to an aide familiar with her thinking. No decisions have been made.
While many activists have pushed for a discharge petition in the House, which would allow a vote on the Senate bill regardless of Speaker Boehner’s support, indications are that Pelosi’s bill is not that (yet, anyway):
Instead, Pelosi — along with Dem Rep. Xavier Becerra, a key player on immigration — may introduce in the House a version of the Senate bill that Dems would be expected to rally around. It would get rid of the amendment throwing a huge amount of money at border security attached to the Senate bill by Senators John Hoeven and Bob Corker, which is opposed by a lot of House Democrats and even some House Republicans who derided it as “border candy.”
Instead, Pelosi’s plan (which is not finalized) would take the Senate bill and replace Corker-Hoeven it with another measure — sponsored by GOP Rep. Michael McCaul and Dem Rep. Bennie Thompson — that sets out clear border security benchmarks and calls for the meeting of those metrics to be consulted on by a number of key stakeholders.
That measure passed the House Homeland Security Community with unanimous bipartisan support. Pelosi’s likely new move comes after it emerged last week that the House gang of seven bipartisan talks to produce comprehensive reform fell apart.
The reliance of Pelosi on a plan that passed the Senate with bipartisan support — with a House border security amendment that won bipartisan support attached to it — is designed to increase pressure on Republicans to act in the House or reveal themselves unwilling to support anything remotely comprehensive in the way of solutions to a problem House GOP leaders themselves have acknowledged must be dealt with.