Defying House Republican leadership, Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) filed his bill, known as the ENLIST Act, as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that the House will consider this week. The amendment would create a path to citizenship for immigrants who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children and serve in the military. GOP congressman pushes for immigration vote:
His move comes three days after House GOP leaders took steps to block a vote on his immigration legislation, dealing a significant blow to efforts to overhaul a system widely disparaged as dysfunctional.
The bill “provides an avenue for those who want to perform the ultimate act of patriotism — serving their county — to earn legal status,” Denham said in a statement. “As a veteran, I can think of no better way to demonstrate your commitment to our nation.”
The Rules Committee will decide on Tuesday what amendments the House will consider and vote on as part of its work on the National Defense Authorization Act.
Doug Heye, spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, said on Friday: “No proposed ENLIST amendments to NDAA will be made in order.”
The GOP-led Rules panel rarely breaks with the leadership, following its wishes.
If it’s Tuesday, it must be time for the “Worst. Speaker. Ever.” Boehner defends rejecting immigration measure:
House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday defended a decision by Republican leaders to block a narrow immigration measure pushed by a GOP congressman, possibly shutting down the likeliest area of compromise on the contentious issue.
Boehner said that the national defense bill was not the place for a vote on California Rep. Jeff Denham’s measure offering citizenship to immigrants brought illegally to the country as youths who serve in the military. The decision was the latest sign that broader immigration overhaul measures promoted by President Barack Obama and already passed by the Senate will likely die this year in the Republican-led House.
“We have supported it in the past but trying to do this on the national defense authorization bill seems to us be an inappropriate place to do it,” Boehner told reporters about Denham’s bill. He said there’d been discussions about allowing Denham a stand-alone vote on his bill but no decision has been made.
Despite the opposition from Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Denham planned to push forward with offering his bill, known as the ENLIST Act, as an amendment to the annual defense policy bill during a meeting of the House Rules Committee later Tuesday.
House leaders, who control the Rules Committee, have made clear that Denham’s effort will be denied.
Denham said Tuesday that he was surprised by the announcement, and hasn’t been given a reason.
“These men and women want to serve the only country that they know. They’re willing to put their lives on the line for our freedom. Why wouldn’t we have that as part of our national defense authorization bill?” Denham asked at a press conference outside the Capitol, flanked by immigrants who would be helped by the bill.
Denham’s bill would allow immigrants who were brought to this country on or before Dec. 31, 2011, and were younger than 15 years old to become legal, permanent residents — the first step toward citizenship — through honorable service in the military.
It was co-sponsored by 50 House members, 26 Democrats and 24 Republicans, but an outspoken minority was opposed. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., had warned that “all hell will break loose” if Denham tried to promote the measure. And Cantor faces a primary opponent in June who’s accused him of supporting amnesty.
The TanMan, Weeper of the House John Boehner, is single-handidly responsible for immigration reform not getting done in the House. He is a craven coward who cares more about what is in the best interest of John Boehner keeping his title of Speaker than he does about doing what is in the best interests of the country. He is a sad and pathetic little man who needs to go.
If you ever want to see immigration reform done, then kicking every Tea-Publican out of Congress and giving control of the chamber to the Democrats is the only path forward. Let’s give the TanMan a one-way ticket to his favorite golf course in Florida and retirement.