Fate of 'dreamers' could rest on 'queen of the hill' gambit
The words “queen of the hill” and “discharge petition” may not mean a lot to those outside of Washington seeking a DACA fix. But they could be the key to a burgeoning coalition of House Republicans and Democrats anxious to at least have a debate on DACA and immigration policy.
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) is spearheading an effort to convince the House GOP leadership to put a series of immigration/DACA plans on the floor for a debate and vote. Denham says more than 50 Republicans and 190-plus Democrats back his gambit for the House to debate four unique approaches to immigration policy. The maneuver would allow the House to consider a conservative immigration plan drafted by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the Democrats’ DREAM Act, backed by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), a plan from the House Republican leadership and a bill by Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Pete Aguilar (D-CA). The Hurd/Aguilar measure would grant legal status to many DACA recipients.
Under Denham’s plan, the House would debate and vote on each proposal. The one securing the most votes would be designated the “queen of the hill.” The House would later take an additional vote on the “queen” bill. If the House approved the measure a second time, it would truly emerge as “king of the hill,” earning passage by the House.
“The biggest issue we’re having today is actually having the debate in front of the American public,” said Denham. “It allows us to show the American people the will of the House.”
It’s also an effort to show the Republican leadership that a majority of the House - more than 240 members – support a debate and vote on an immigration/DACA plan. The hope is that the GOP brass picks up on the cue and schedules a debate and vote on the four bills.
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