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LIVEBLOG: Votes and Proceedings, July 31, 2014

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2:40 PM: Apparently, it’s not quite over yet.  House Republicans are convening an emergency 3 pm meeting in the basement because the general sentiment is “we can’t go home having done nothing.”  But:

The New York Times:

House Republicans were not helped by their Senate counterparts, particularly Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who on Wednesday night held a meeting over pizza and beer with more than a dozen of the House’s most conservative lawmakers to urge them to vote against the immigration bill.

The report from Robert Costa and Paul Kane at the Washington Post:

Faced with certain defeat, Boehner (R-Ohio) pulled the legislation from consideration Thursday afternoon, according to guidance from leadership advisers. With more than 20 House conservatives opposed, Boehner did not have enough votes from his own Republican ranks because virtually all Democrats opposed the legislation. The resulting lack of action would end the congressional summer session in a familiar legislative failure, as the House and Senate are poised to leave town for a five-week break and prepare for the fall elections with voters holding record levels of disgust for Congress.

Here’s Speaker Boehner’s statement, apparently once again suggesting that Obama should take executive action on his own, without Congress:

This situation shows the intense concern within our conference… There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for Congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure the children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries… We will continue to work on solutions on the border crisis and other challenges facing our country.

Here’s a part of the email from Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer’s office:

**Members are advised that the House will no longer vote on passage of H.R. 5230 – Supplemental Appropriations to Address the Southwest Border Crisis or consider H.R. 5272 – “No New DREAMers Act.”  This is a change from the GOP Leadership’s previously announced schedule.

1:51 PM: WOW.  Our day just suddenly ended early.  The House was supposed to vote on the GOP border bill but then moved onto transportation — reporters speculated that the votes weren’t there to pass legislation.  Now the word is that House Republicans are pulling the border bill altogether.  There will be no further votes today.  Congress will go into recess having 1) voted to sue the President but 2) not having done anything to address the children’s crisis on the border.  Probably because the House immigration bill, despite its expedited removals, didn’t deport enough people for Ted Cruz, Steve King, Heritage, etc.

1:15 PM: Actually, the anti-DACA vote later today would prevent those who already have DACA from renewing, and thus WOULD be a vote to deport DREAMers.

12:17 PM: Roll call for previous question vote:


  • Republicans voting nay: Broun (GA), Jones
  • Nonvoting Republicans: Crawford, DesJarlais, Hanna, McKeon, Nunnelee, Price, Smith
  • Democrats voting yes: Matheson, Peterson

12:01 PM: The vote on the previous question just failed.  The pro-immigrant vote was NAY.  The House just voted against bringing up HR 15, the House comprehensive immigration bill.  Full roll call coming soon. Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 8.50.34 AM 10:45 AM: A statement from the office of the White House Press Secretary, blasting Republicans for once again attacking DACA, and pursuing mass-deportation-oriented policies:

It is extraordinary that the House of Representatives, after failing for more than a year to reform our broken immigration reform system, would vote to restrict a law enforcement tool that the Department of Homeland Security uses to focus resources on key enforcement priorities like public safety and border security, and provide temporary relief from deportation for people who are low priorities for removal. In the face of Congressional inaction, the Administration’s use of Deferred Action for DREAMers in 2012, which has benefitted more than 500,000 young people who are Americans in every way except on paper, is the most significant progress we have made toward immigration reform in years. By failing to act on an immigration reform bill that requires that people who are here illegally pay taxes, undergo background checks and get on the right side of the law, the House is instead driving an approach that is about rounding up and deporting 11 million people, separating families, and undermining DHS’ ability to secure the border.

10:40 AM: It’s official: in addition to the border supplemental and anti-DACA bills today, House Democrats will be calling for a vote on the previous question, which if defeated would bring HR 15 to a vote on the floor.  The full House will once again effectively be voting up or down on comprehensive immigration reform today.  As Polis just said on the House floor, immigration reform is the real solution here: HR 15 would fund border security and prevent future border crises.

10:30 AM: The DACA vote today technically will not affect those who already have DACA / are already eligible / will become eligible in the future.  It will forbid the expansion of DACA, preventing Obama from expanding it to, say, the parents of US born children.  But in this vote the GOP is still attempting to attack DACA and what it’s accomplished.  For instance view this National Review editorial, which attacks any new program in terms of DACA’s perceived flaws:

It is not unlikely that a new program would, like DACA, be pitched as a temporary measure…In addition, any new DACA-style program will have the tendency to encompass persons beyond its target demographic…DACA also belies the claim that unilateral executive actions are simply large-scale enactments of prosecutorial discretion, pragmatic measures necessitated by the federal government’s lack of resources. DACA has proven to involve a massive expenditure of both time and money that has required USCIS officers to table entrance applications from legal immigrants to accommodate the deluge of applicants from illegal immigrants.

10:20 AM: Here’s what’s coming up today: first, a House vote for their $659 million emergency funding package, which would expedite the removals of Central American children fleeing violence.  And then, ONLY if the first vote passes, a House vote preventing any expansion of DACA.

Here’s Greg Sargent at the Washington Post on the reasoning behind that scheduling:

In other words, conservatives get their vote against DACA after, and only if, the House passes its solution to the border mess. I suspect this may be structured to avoid what could be a political debacle, had the votes been scheduled the other way around: House Republicans going home for August recess having voted only to sue the president and to maximize deportations from the interior, while failing to vote to solve the current crisis.

The House bill, however, is likely to be stopped in the Senate if it makes it to the upper chamber.  President Obama has already threatened to veto the House bill.