Dems hold multiple ‘symbolic votes’ to thwart immigration debate in House

BY TRACY MATHESON / JANUARY 11, 2018 /

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Democrats attempted to stymie legislative progress in the House on Wednesday by demanding votes that it adjourn three times, forcing Republicans to waste time on each procedural motion.

The actions were demonstrative of Democrats’ disapproval of the Trump administration’s decision to revoke temporary protected status for thousands of Salvadorans, and their opposition to the Republican’s plan to implement stricter border restrictions as part of a broader immigration plan.

Specifically, the Democrats are seeking protection for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as part of a spending bill which will be put to a vote next week. Republicans are insisting that the DACA issue be separated from the spending bill, and addressed in subsequent legislation.

In protest of the Republicans’ positions, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., made the first motion to adjourn on Wednesday.

“The president gave the Congress a deadline to pass legislation to protect the Dreamers and we take that deadline very seriously and think our colleagues should too,” Gutierrez said in a statement. “Any time we are not debating the Dream Act is time wasted and we wanted to make that point by forcing everyone to come to the floor for a symbolic vote.”

Gutierrez was followed by Reps. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., and Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz.

“We are taking action to make sure everyone knows that people with DACA are already losing their status and face deportation,” said Grijalva. “If we have to inconvenience our colleagues to get their attention, so be it.”

Members of the House defeated all three motions, with the number of Democrats voting to adjourn ranging from 51 to 62, according to the Washington Examiner.