Republican leadership in the House is trying to put an end to the uprising started within its on caucus over immigration, actively exhorting rank-and-file members to abandon the discharge petition, The Hill reports.
Instead, at least 17 GOP lawmakers have endorsed the petition that would force a floor vote, meaning eight more signatories would force the issue on immigration, assuming every House Democrat also backs the measure, The Hill reports.
Republican leaders Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise are actively trying to squelch the initiative, but they're getting pushback from moderate Republicans with tough midterm reelection bids who aren't OK with treading water on the issue until November.
Ryan on Thursday called the effort - and any legislation that might come from it - a "show pony."
"In general, discharge petitions are bad legislative tactics because it undermines the majority," majority whip Scalise told The Hill. "It would be an approach that would rely on mostly Democratic votes and some Republicans to pass their bill, and that’s not the way to solve this problem."
The petition was filed Wednesday by Reps. Carlos Curbelo, Will Hurd and Jeff Denham, and it quickly caught fire.
Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, and David Valadao signed on as co-sponsors, and the measure also garnered support from Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mia Love and John Faso, The Hill reported.
Ultimately, the Republicans who have latched on want to force a "Queen of the Hill" vote on four immigration measures; the one that gets the most votes wins, becoming the approved legislation of the House.
But Republicans still have work to do, first needing to get to 218 sponsors to force the issue, one that would be a self-inflicted wound to the chamber ahead of the midterms, according to leadership.
"I know (GOP leaders) … tried to talk them out of it," signatory Rep. Mike Coffman told The Hill. “The people that told me said that it didn’t change their mind."
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