Pete Aguilar

Immigration Discharge Petition Will Get Final Signatures, Deputy GOP Whip Says
Crafting immigration policy in an election year ‘is one of the biggest reaches of this Congress,’ McHenry says

House Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., predicts an immigration discharge petition that’s five signatures away from the 218 needed will get there after the recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Chief Deputy Whip Patrick T. McHenry on Thursday said an immigration discharge petition that GOP leaders oppose will get to 218 signatures after the recess, and the only way they can stop it is finding legislation Republicans can pass — something he acknowledges is a big reach. 

The discharge petition, which is just five signatures shy of the 218 needed, would force a vote on a queen of the hill rule that would set up votes on four immigration measures, with the one getting the most votes above the required simple majority threshold prevailing. The process is likely to produce a bill that a majority of Democrats and a minority of Republicans support.

GOP Leaders Float Alternative to Immigration Discharge Petition
Denham says discharge petition supporters working with leadership but have the signatures

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis.,and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., are working on an immigration plan with President Donald Trump they hope will stop a discharge petition moderate Republicans are pushing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 7:35 p.m. | House Republican leaders and the conservative rank and file are desperately trying to kill a discharge petition that would trigger a series of immigration votes, likely resulting in House passage of a bill carried mostly by Democrats.

Moderate Republicans say they have enough support to force a vote on a “queen of the hill” rule that would set up votes on four different immigration bills, with the one receiving the most support above the required simple majority threshold advancing. But not all the members whose support they’re counting on have signed on to the discharge petition yet, partly because GOP leaders insist they’ll have an alternative solution.

Freedom Caucus Seeks to Leverage Farm Bill Support for Immigration Vote
Maneuver could kill discharge petition effort by moderate Republicans

House Freedom Caucus Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and former chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, are among the conservatives looking to leverage their votes on the farm bill to secure a vote on an immigration bill. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An unspecified number of House Freedom Caucus members are looking to leverage their potential support for the farm bill to secure a House vote on a conservative immigration bill, a maneuver they say would kill a discharge petition moderate Republicans have started

“It was certainly a topic of discussion in trying to figure out what would get people to yes on a farm bill,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said of a vote on the conservative immigration bill by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte. “And I can tell you voting for the Goodlatte bill, whether it passes or is defeated, would move some of our members.”

Taylor and Aguilar Are Tasked With ‘Flower Power’
Junior Appropriations members are responsible for collecting for flowers sent to members after big life events

As the most junior members of House Appropriations, Reps. Pete Aguilar, left, and Scott Taylor are tasked with chasing down donations for the Flower Fund. (Bill Clark and Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos)

It’s a tradition on the House Appropriations Committee to show your colleagues that you care about them.

Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen kicked off a markup of the Legislative Branch and Military Construction-VA appropriations bills last week by calling for each member to give a $20 donation to the Flower Fund.

At Least 17 Republicans Sign Discharge Petition To Force Votes on DACA Bills
If all Democrats were to sign, which is not certain, a total of 25 Republicans would be needed

Reps. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., right, and Jeff Denham, R-Calif., left, hold a news conference at the Capitol on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 to announce the filing of a discharge petition on a queen of the hill rule to setup a series of immigration votes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At least 17 House Republicans are ready to put some force behind their calls for a “queen of the hill” rule to set up a series of immigration votes, signing a discharge petition that could launch the winner-take-all legislative process against GOP leaders’ wishes. 

The group of moderate Republicans, led by Florida’s Carlos Curbelo and Jeff Denham of California, are frustrated that the House has not voted on legislation to protect young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation in the eight months since President Donald Trump announced he would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that shelters roughly 700,000 of the so-called Dreamers.

More Republicans Ready to Push but Not Force Immigration Votes
Denham won’t commit to discharge petition on queen of the hill rule for DACA bills

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., center, flanked by Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., left, and Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, hold a news conference on the use of the “queen of the hill” rule for DACA legislation in the House on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Four dozen mostly moderate Republicans have joined Democrats in their push for a “queen of the hill” rule that would set up a series of immigration votes. But the GOP congressman leading the charge is reluctant to commit to a discharge petition that could actually force his leadership to bring it to the floor.

“You shouldn’t need a discharge petition,” California Rep. Jeff Denham said. He acknowledged that backers of the rule might discuss such a petition — which if signed by a majority of the House would force leadership to call a vote. But he refused to commit to filing one if his plan to put pressure on Speaker Paul D. Ryan fails.

California Democratic Candidates Feud Over Website
Duncan Hunter challengers in beef over ‘fake news’

Ammar Campa-Najjar’s campaign says it has nothing to do with a website that says rival Democrat Josh Butner was recruited to run by Republicans and that his father has ties to the Ku Klux Klan.  (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call).

Two Democrats hoping to challenge Rep. Duncan Hunter in California’s 50th District are in a public spat about a website

The row between Josh Butner, a retired Navy SEAL, and former Obama administration official Ammar Campa-Najjar is centered around a website called DuncanButner.com.

How House Members Voted on the Omnibus Versus the Budget Deal
More Democrats, including Pelosi, switch to ‘yes’ on omnibus from ‘no’ on budget deal

House Democratic leadership team was split on the omnibus. While Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi supported the bill, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, right, voted against it.. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More Democrats and fewer Republicans voted for the fiscal 2018 omnibus Thursday than voted for the budget deal that set the spending levels for it.

The House passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, 256-167, with 145 Republicans and 111 Democrats voting “yes.” The “no” votes came from 90 Republicans and 77 Democrats.

Senate Passes Budget Deal With Shutdown Underway
Prospects for House action are less clear

Congress was in session late again into Friday as appropriations lapsed. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate passed the bipartisan budget agreement in the wee hours of Friday morning, with a brief government shutdown having already kicked in.

The 71-28 vote on the $320 billion package that would reopen the government through March 23 sends the measure to the House, where the prospects are believed to be more precarious. The House vote may not take place until some federal workers are already on their way to work Friday morning.

GOP Face of Democratic DACA Demand Not Supporting Leverage Move
Hurd: ‘I don’t know why there’s reticence to having a vote on something like this.’

Texas Rep. Will Hurd doesn’t want to risk a government shutdown for a vote on his immigration bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats have a ransom problem. A key ally doesn’t support them holding this specific “hostage.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and some Democrats are trying to leverage the budget vote to extract a vote on an unrelated immigration bill.