U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) has taken little action on his promise to force a vote in Congress on a bill to help some Dreamers avoid deportation, but he’s touting another effort as if its comparable when, in fact, it’s not.
Coffman told reporters in Washington DC yesterday that he’s joined about 240 representatives to promote, in Coffman’s words, a “mechanism whereby we can have a vote, not just on one [Dreamer] bill but on four bills.” (Listen here at 9 min 50 sec.)
Under the parliamentary mechanism, called “Queen of the Hill,” four different Dreamer bills would be introduced, and the one with highest votes would move on to the U.S. Senate.
While this is a creative way to try to get a vote, the trouble is, House Speaker Paul Ryan would have to approve the Queen of the Hill procedure if a vote were to take place. And it already sounds like he’s against it.
BloombergPolitics reported yesterday:
But Ryan has final say on whether to pursue the plan. He’s said publicly that he doesn’t think this vote procedure is the best way to handle immigration because it gives the majority party — and congressional leaders — less control over the outcome. Trump continues to tweet about the wall he wants to build on the border with Mexico, as well as the need for legislation to address the immigrant status of people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, known as dreamers.
The only way to leapfrog the Speaker is through another parliamentary mechanism called a discharge petition, which Coffman has apparently dropped.
Last year, the Aurora Republican grabbed headlines by launching a discharge petition to allow some Dreamers to temporarily avoid deportation, but he has since mostly abandoned the effort, securing only five signatures, one of which is his own, while 218 are required.
Coffman opposed the best chance at passing the Dream Act when it was included in bipartisan immigration reform legislation that stalled in the U.S. in 2014. He voted against the Dream Act in 2010 but has subsequently endorsed it.
During his news conference yesterday, Coffman said he “often meets with Dreamers” and decried the fact that no votes have been taken on the Dreamer issue since Trump announced that he would end the Obama’s DACA program, which allowed some Dreamers to stay in the U.S. for a few years.
Coffman’s office has not responded to multiple requests for comment about his efforts to help Dreamers.