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Congressmen Push A Rare Strategy To Debate A Replacement For DACA

Molly Adams/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Young immigrants protected by the DACA program have been in limbo since the Obama-era program was canceled by President Trump last year.  Now we’re hearing rumblings of Republicans, including at least one from Texas, trying a new strategy to get a DACA vote in Congress.

Lindsey McPherson, a reporter for Roll Call, says the rule could force the House to call a vote on immigration bills, including DACA, which seemed to be dead after the March 5 deadline set by President Trump.

“Specifically the Democrats have been talking about three bills – the DREAM Act, the Hurd-Aguilar bill and the Goodlatte bill,” she says.

The DREAM Act would provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. The Hurd-Aguilar bill is more of a compromise by a partisan measure that does provide a permanent solution for DREAMers, as well as some border security, but not as much as some Republicans would want. The Goodlatte bill proposes a temporary status for DACA recipients.

Moderate Republican Jeff Denham announced the resolution setting up the “queen of the hill” rule.

“The way the queen of the hill rule works, if it were to go into effect, is that the House would vote on all four measures and whichever one got the most votes above the simple majority threshold, it would become the House-passed measure,” McPherson said.

McPherson says Denham’s goal is to have the House debate and vote on those immigration bills that offer replacements for the DACA program, but he refused to commit to filing one measure if his plan to put pressure on Speaker Ryan fails.

“The reason they have been pushing this strategy is that the Hurd-Aguilar bill would prevail in this scenario and I believe the Republicans who signed on this as well believe that, too,” McPherson said. “That creates no incentive for Speaker Ryan to bring this rule to the floor, though, because he doesn’t want to move forward with that, knowing that the President does not support the Hurd-Aguilar bill and would basically veto it.”

Written by Cesar Lopez-Linares.

Copyright 2020 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.

Rhonda is the newest member of the KUT News team, joining in late 2013 as producer for KUT's new daily news program, The Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.