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Over 5,000 immigrants take the oath of citizenship during a naturalization ceremony to become new citizens of the U.S. in Los Angeles April 16, 2013.REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
The GOP's worst nightmare.
So here's how screwed-up the House is—there are enough votes to pass the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill, yet Republican House Speaker John Boehner refuses to allow a vote because it might pass and make the xenophobic fringe in his party sad.

So after releasing a "statement of principles" that included such titillating principles as “Implement Entry-Exit Visa Tracking System” and “Employment Verification and Workplace Enforcement” (not to mention telling the Asian and Latino communities that Republicans would NEVER consider them American), Boehner surveyed the hysterical reaction from the Right, pulled a Palin and quit, then blamed Obama just because.

So there's this thing called a "discharge petition" that allows a majority of the House to force a vote. The catch is that it while there's majority for the Senate reform bill, Republican supporters are afraid to sign the petition lest they incur the wrath of ... Ted Cruz? Glenn Beck? Rush Limbaugh? You know, crazy people.

Democrats and reform advocates had backed off on the idea of the discharge petition, hoping that common sense would prevail with the Republican caucus. Pushing the petition was seen as inflammatory, so shhh. But with Boehner declaring reform dead for the year, the time for "shhh" is over. EJ Dionne and Sen. Chuck Schumer have already begun pushing it. The clamor should only grow.

Can we find 17 Republicans (plus a handful more to make up for the inevitable Blue Dog nays) willing to sign that discharge petition? Maybe, maybe not. But it's time to find out. And if they won't sign, we can make it clear who stands in the way of reform.

Ask your congressperson to sign a discharge petition, right now. Seriously, do it.

Originally posted to kos on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:01 AM PST.

Also republished by LatinoKos and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Cheers to ruining Boehner's year Kos!! (9+ / 0-)
  •  Come on I will even tell DOUG LAMALFA... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hannibal

    ..and that is pushing it.. He is major TEAPARTY FatBoy Millionaire Subsidized farmer. ..but he’s what we got right now.

    Proud to be part of the 21st Century Democratic Majority Party of the 3M's.. Multiracial, Multigender and MiddleClass

    by LOrion on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:11:29 AM PST

  •  vain hope opening a vein (5+ / 0-)
    hoping that common sense would prevail with the Republican caucus.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:15:32 AM PST

  •  As long as were going the discharge petition route (6+ / 0-)

    How about a reasonable reform, rather than the punitive pandering in the "compromise legislation"  Under a discharge petition we don't need to placate the bigots.  

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:16:59 AM PST

    •  Unfortunately, we have to placate at least (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG

      18 of those who have to placate the bigots.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:22:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hannibal, Eric Nelson, benamery21

      If we're going to use extraordinary measures, let's write the bill we want, instead of the half-assed twaddle the House Republicans are too scared to vote on. Amnesty, clear path to citizenship, budget and all the rest of it.

      Let the whiners whine. They're going to do that, anyway. And it's way past time our country got to living up to the ideal engraved on that woman who lifts her lamp beside the golden door.

      •  that wouldn't pass the senate. (0+ / 0-)

        Let alone the House.

        •  Then let's get that on record, too (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bananapouch1

          I'm really tired of the direction the train's going with the most hateful, frightened, xenophobic elements driving it. I want to see - over and over again - who's on the side of people, humanity, compassion and understanding, and who's on the side of oppression, repression, ruthlessness and profit over people.

          The system doesn't have to be the way it is. And it isn't going to change itself.

          •  Let's stick to H.R. 15/ S. 744 (0+ / 0-)

            This passed the Senate by a two-thirds majority, and unlike various House proposals in consideration, it did contain a pathway to citizenship for almost all illegal immigrants. If we propose something else, then everyone will want to make their changes, and at the end of the day no one will know what we stand for.

      •  Discahrge petitiohns (0+ / 0-)

        Only apply to bills introduced and sent to committee or bills passed in the Senate already.

        This bill was passed in the Senate. We need something which will get the support of every Democrat and 18 Republicans. Trying for a bill that won't get support from the D caucus just messes up the message that the House Repugs are killing reasonable steps towards reform.

        •  So maybe pass a reasonable bill in the Senate? (0+ / 0-)

          If we can't pass a better bill than this monstrosity, with a Democratic majority, then we should mail the Senators voting against such a bill the Klan regalia they would need in order to dress in a manner befitting their views.

          Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

          by benamery21 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 10:30:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Yes. Let's do it about 30 days before the election (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell, TofG, skillet, DocGonzo
  •  From discharge petition wiki..... (4+ / 0-)

    Discharge petitions are rare. A successful discharge petition embarrasses the leadership; as such, members of the majority party are hesitant to support something that would make the Speaker and their own leaders look bad. (Naturally, the minority party will often support discharge petitions precisely to embarrass the leadership.) Furthermore, since the signers of a petition are not private, majority party members are pressured not to sign, and open themselves up to retribution from the leadership should they disobey.

    Embarrass Boehner?......Who'd want to do that?

    •  But what if leadership looks sideways and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skillet

      allows discharge petition to move forward.

      There have been reports that John Boehner is going to retire as Speaker at the end of 2014. In that case, there will be no retribution from leadership.

      Also, Boehner represents the establishment and he wants to send the  Republican nominee iinto 2016 without the baggage of immigration. And Boehner can get a good lobbying deal from one of the business interests for doing them a favor.

      No one will directly get blamed. So I think discharge petition might just be possible on immigration.

      •  Retire Boehner (0+ / 0-)

        He'd be forcibly retired as Speaker if Democrats just win a net couple dozen seats out of 435.

        A discharge petition or just any immigration reform passage would probably cause that.

        If Democrats take the opportunity to represent the country, and explain that to the country as their campaign.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:45:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  boehner won't allow a vote yet. (0+ / 0-)

        Maybe if leadership reaches agreement on the House immigration bills, a vote will be held on them by May-June. If not, another chance could occur if 2014 was seen as a disappointment for Republicans, and Reid clearly held obto the Senate majority. Then, Boehner would maybe possibly allow a vote on the Senate bill. If not, the issue gets pushed back to 2015, when the GOP primary season starts, makibg progress that much harder.

    •  But THIS majority party THRIVES on making (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skillet

      leadership look bad.

      It gives their baggy constituents a fuzzy.

      Yes, DailyKos DOES have puzzles! Visit us here Saturday nights @ 5:00 PDT (easier puzzles) and Sunday nights @ 5:00 PDT (more challenging) for a group solving party. Even if you just pop in and comment while watching the fun, everybody is welcome. 21352

      by pucklady on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:46:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am for a petition (3+ / 0-)

    that states the truth. The reason Republicans don't want immigration reform is because they are racist. Can we just state the truth? Please?

    “He talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans.” James Carville

    by Mokislab on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:24:47 AM PST

  •  I was thinking about this yesterday after (7+ / 0-)

    the Debt Ceiling vote.   Come on, Nancy...pull the trigger.  Discharge petitions on Immigration and a Jobs bill.  Start pushing hard...let the GOP say "No" to immigration throughout the primary season, and then again to a jobs bill in August.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:26:13 AM PST

  •  short answer: no (4+ / 0-)
    Can we find 17 Republicans (plus a handful more to make up for the inevitable Blue Dog nays) willing to sign that discharge petition?
    No. You cannot. No House Republican is going to buck both the leadership and the Tea Party to side with Democrats and help the "illegals".

    It is not going to happen.

  •  Ted Cruz has effectively squashed any hope (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bananapouch1

    of action in the House this year on immigration reform.

    He apparently created a firestorm of protesting phone calls by constituents to their Representatives telling them to drop immigration reform.

    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) "may have scuttled a compromise on immigration reform with just one sound bite," the San Antonio Express-News
    "House Republicans who supported 'principles' of immigration reform floated by Speaker John Boehner late last month grumbled Tuesday that the plan was dead on arrival because Cruz blasted it as 'amnesty,' spurring a blizzard of negative phone calls to House Republicans."

    Said one GOP lawmaker: "After that it was 'We'll get back to you on immigration reform'"

    •  and I wanted to add "majority", kos? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bananapouch1
      there are enough votes to pass the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill
      I highly doubt that.  There have never been a majority of votes that would pass the Senate version straight up.

      A majority may want immigration reform in some form, but most of those Reps want a radically different form than the Senate version.

      •  Wrong. Senate bill would pass the house. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric Nelson

        If it was slam dunk that it would not pass the House, John Boehner would have already brought it to the floor for a vote and proved that it cannot pass.

        The Senate bill got 60+ votes in the Senate including  Jeff Flake, Rubio etc. to give cover to many in the house.

  •  No, we can't find 17 Republicans to sign on. (5+ / 0-)

    But we can make the bastards say No in public.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:34:13 AM PST

  •  Told Paul Ryan. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inland Jim, Eric Nelson

    But he never listens to me.

  •  Republicans response cements alliance (7+ / 0-)

    of immigrant communities, especially Asians who have proved effective voters for Obama in the past two elections.  

    Republicans seem surprised how strongly the Asian community has swung over to both Obama and Democrats, in part, because of this issue.  Whatever trash conservatives go on about "the model minority", when push comes to shove, we're not Americans to them, and we will never be Americans to them, no matter what.

    Barack Obama is proof that not only are we Americans, we are family.

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:40:42 AM PST

  •  One way or another its going to (4+ / 0-)

    bite them in the ass. Please proceed.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:54:40 AM PST

  •  McIntyre (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, Eric Nelson

    Wonder if Mike McIntyre, the most right wing dem congressman--and is retiring--will vote for this.  Does crazy mean for convenience/power ever disappear?

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:55:42 AM PST

  •  Discharge Petition: CHANCES? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zeta Retuculi, bythesea

    Optimistic View:
    There has never been a better chance than now for a successful Immigration Bill Discharge Petition.  After the dept ceiling bill it is obvious that House Republicans are a deeply fractured caucus.  Growing hatred for Tea Party members by establishment members could foment into a few Republicans signing on, especially if some feel they are electorally vulnerable on the issue in the 2014 mid-terms.

    Pessimistic View:
    Saying you will vote for a bill and signing a Discharge Petition against the majority of your own party are worlds apart.  History of such petition drives shows it is highly unlikely to succeed.  To put it simply, its a difference of talking mutiny (saying you would vote for a bill) and acting on it (signing the petition).

    Reality:
    In this case, reality maybe somewhere in-between, as it often is.  While its still a long shot, if Boehnor gave quiet approval and Dems. could get one or two respected (respected within the Republican Party that is) Republicans to sign, it might give enough cover for others to sign on.

    STAY TUNED!  

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:05:44 PM PST

  •  You might want to... (0+ / 0-)

    ... have one of your vote count experts run some numbers on this.  There are a fair number of Reps retiring. Some are assholes like Gary Miller who has been more than a bit kooky on immigration, but they also love MONEY so they might:

    * take one for the GOP Establishment Team on the way out the door

    * have some nice GOP Corporate Overlord take care of their "retirement"

    Miller has had so many $$$ scandals over the years, and with his political career seemingly over at the age of 65, he does come across as someone that GOP Corporate Overlords could buy off with a nice "lobbying" position or "board of directors" job.

    There might be more of those types than we think, and Boehner might back channel that it's okay to sign off on discharge to long term help the Party while taking it "out of his hands".

  •  If more people become anti-republican, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Denise Oliver Velez

    and the vast majority of immigrants likewise become anti-republican, then the republican may have to emigrate to another country.  We could give them Antarctica and let them build their brave new dystopian u-teabaggerist-topia at the bottom of the world....

    Proponents of gun violence own guns. Opponents of gun violence do not own guns. What part of this do you not understand?

    by Liberal Panzer on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:14:48 PM PST

  •  It's my understanding that (0+ / 0-)

    a discharge petition only forces a matter onto the agenda...but it doesn't force the Speaker to schedule it for a vote  (in other words, a discharge petition does not force a vote).

  •   Pushing the petition was seen as inflammatory.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Denise Oliver Velez

    ..so... shhh get noisy and keep pushing it!

    Yes, Just heard this discharge petition mentioned the other day to a chorus of .."what's the use? the house will never pass immigration anyway.."

    Because this..

    Can we find 17 Republicans (plus a handful more to make up for the inevitable Blue Dog nays) willing to sign that discharge petition? Maybe, maybe not. But it's time to find out. And if they won't sign, we can make it clear who stands in the way of reform.
    ..is precisely why

    Just - Do it!

    petition signed gladly

    Thx kos

  •  Money Crazy (0+ / 0-)
    Republican supporters are afraid to sign the petition lest they incur the wrath of ... Ted Cruz? Glenn Beck? Rush Limbaugh? You know, crazy people.

    Republicans won't sign a discharge petition lest they incur the wrath of John Boehner, his Republican Party and its corporate sponsors. You know, crazy people.

    Because that's where Republicans get their money, infrastructure and scripts from to do and keep their jobs.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:43:39 PM PST

  •  Is a discharge petition still a thing under (0+ / 0-)

    current rules?  I thought during the run up the government shut down the Republicans changed the rules so that only the Majority Leader could bring a discharge petition forward.  Am I misremembering that?  If not, did they ever actually reinstate the normal rules?

    "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people." -Tony Benn (-6.38,-6.36)

    by The Rational Hatter on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:56:06 PM PST

  •  I'm no doctor, but . . . (0+ / 0-)

    I'm pretty sure my repub rep IS a discharge.

    "One of the boss' hangers-on sometimes comes to call, at times you least expect. Tryin' to bully you, strongarm you, inspire you with fear--it has the opposite effect."--Bob Dylan, "Floater"

    by oldmaestro on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 01:04:04 PM PST

  •  This is a brilliant idea (0+ / 0-)

    Especially since I truly believe that reform is dead.  Reupubs wont revisit since the debt ceiling embarrasment

  •  Looking for a link (0+ / 0-)

    Someone here knows a good link that will give the exact details of the democratic immigration reform bill.  I have trouble arguing this issue with my more moderate and conservative friends because I do not know all of the details of the democratic initiative.

  •  I'm in (0+ / 0-)

    My congressman (or congressperson) is Jan Schakowsky, and she's always on board for anything progressive.

    OTOH, I'll try t build pressure on Peter Roskam, the nearest Republican, if one is introduced.

    A discharge petition needs Republican signatures. It needs 50% (218 if all the seats are filled).

  •  If we could get ONE R signature (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    benamery21

    Then we could run campaigns against every R who doesn't wgn. Hell, something like this will not only influence Latinos, it will also influence Asians.

    I can see the arguments now: "The House Republicans said that they are waiting to see how the '14 elections go before they look at immigration reform.
    Show them
    Register
    Vote straight Democrtic from the top of the ballot to the bottom."

    Somebody translate that into Spanish. I cn get it into Chinese and-- maybe -- Japanese.)

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