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Rep. Joe Heck Has Last Chance to Lead and Fix Immigration Crisis, Will He Step Up and Do What Needs to Be Done?

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The #DemandAVote discharge petition has 190 signed-on but missing Rep. Heck and other key GOP leaders who say they support a path to citizenship

Henderson, NV – In the last few months, Speaker John Boehner and the Republican leadership have done everything they can to block immigration reform. But with the introduction of last week’s discharge petition, pro-immigration reform activists and advocates have an opportunity to break through the partisan gridlock and stop the Republican leadership from holding reform hostage.

“The discharge petition is our best chance to force the Speaker’s hand and move legislation to the House floor for a vote this year,” said Marisol Montoya, the Nevada State Coordinator of Mi Familia Vota. “Our organization has been working with Representative Heck and he agrees it is the right thing to do for our state and the nation. Now we need him to act and move legislation forward.”

The #DemandAVote discharge petition introduced by House Democrats last week has gained immediate support from 190 Democrats, with nearly all the Democrats expected to sign on. All eyes are on the House Republicans who’ve said they support immigration reform with a path to citizenship. With no excuses left to block reform, the discharge petition puts direct pressure on individual House members—namely, Rep. Heck, who in the past has said he supports immigration reform with a path to citizenship.

“We know the votes are there in the House to pass immigration reform, and Representative Heck has repeatedly said that he supports a path to citizenship,” said Laura Martin, the Communications Director of PLAN Action Fund. “We won’t accept any more excuses—no one gets a pass. If Joe Heck doesn’t like HR 15 or the discharge petition, then he needs to introduce his own bipartisan legislation and give us a vote on that. Doing nothing is not an option.”

Earlier this week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office re-affirmed that HR 15 would cut the country’s deficit by $900 billion in the next 20 years. “By refusing to add his name to any solution to the immigration crisis, but still finds time to hold hearings to rename mountains not in his district after Ronald Reagan, Congressman Heck is just playing politics with millions of immigrant families’ lives and failing the American people,” said Martin.

More than 74 percent of voters in Rep. Heck’s congressional district strongly support comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.

Both Reps. Dina Titus and Steve Horsford from Nevada have signed on to the discharge petition to bring HR 15 for a vote to the House floor.