Reuters, April 18, 2018
A bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday urged Speaker Paul Ryan to schedule debate on bills to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation, in a move aimed at reviving a push that sputtered in the Senate in February.
Backers said they had 240 House members on board so far pushing for debate of four different bills to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Republican President Donald Trump ended on March 5.
The bill many lawmakers think is most popular was written by Republican Will Hurd and Democrat Peter Aguilar. It would protect “Dreamer” immigrants from deportation and strengthen border security, although not with a Southwest border wall Trump wants.
Trump has urged Congress to write legislation giving these immigrants permanent protections, but he has failed to reach a compromise with Congress.
In 2016, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton beat Trump in his district, leading to speculation that Denham, like Republicans in similar areas, could face a tough re-election.
At least 218 votes are needed in the 435-member House to pass legislation. With five vacancies, slightly fewer are necessary.
But there are difficulties, even with the 240 votes supporting this latest immigration push.
Only 50 of the House’s 237 Republicans are behind the effort so far, with nearly all 190 Democrats on board.
That presents political problems for Ryan and his leadership team, which bridles at passing legislation not backed by a majority of fellow Republicans.