House Democrats will file another 'discharge petition' Wednesday in an effort to force a vote on a bill to overhaul the nation's immigration system.
The move, which would need to obtain 218 signatures, is not expected to succeed (There are currently 199 Democrats in the House). House Democrats will unveil the petition at a Wednesday morning press event on the steps of the Capitol.
House Democrats have filed seven discharge petitions in the 113th Congress, all of which failed to obtain the signatures needed to force a vote on legislation. In the last 30 years, only seven discharge petitions have obtained enough signatures to force a vote.
Earlier this year, Democrats used the tactic to try to bring an extension of unemployment benefits and an increase in the federal minimum wage to the House floor. While those attempts failed, the process itself has been used as a messaging tool to highlight Republican's unwillingness to bring up bills.
In the case of Wednesday's discharge petition, Democrats are attempting to force a vote on HR 15 -- effectively the Senate-passed immigration bill with changes to the language concerning border security. That bill has three Republican co-sponsors: California Reps. David Valadao and Jeff Denham and Florida’s Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
But in the past, Republicans have not bucked their leadership and joined with Democrats to force a vote.
First published March 24 2014, 11:02 AM
Frank Thorp V
Frank Thorp V is a producer and off-air reporter covering Congress for NBC News. He started this role in June 2011. Thorp is responsible for managing coverage of the House of Representatives, and supports Capitol Hill correspondents Kelly Oâ€™Donnell and Luke Russert in their reporting on Congress.
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Previously, Thorp served as NBC Newsâ€™ long-term presence in Haiti after a devastating earthquake hit that country in 2010. Thorp has also worked at CBS News.
He studied psychology at West Virginia University, and lives in Alexandria, Va. with his wife and chocolate lab.