Democrats in the House of Representatives are hoping to revive the debate over immigration reform via a procedural stunt that could force a vote or at minimum cause a pressure point for members of the Republican Party who are continuing to delay dealing with the issue.
On Monday a senior Democrat aide said that the procedural move, which is known as a discharge petition, is set to be unveiled at a morning press event on Wednesday, which will be followed by the documents being signed by members on the floor of the House of Representatives. Stuck with a minority in the House and opposed by a majority conference, Democrats have made use of the discharge petition maneuver several times already this year on various issues such as raising the minimum wage and unemployment insurance and are now set to use it over immigration reform.
If a petition is able to get 218 signatures, it forces the floor of the House of Representatives to take a vote on the issue, even if the majority party leadership in control of the House calendar is opposed to the legislation. Democrats are hoping to force Republicans into voting on comprehensive immigration reform, which they believe would pass if given the chance to be voted on by the entire House.
A Republican leadership aide claims there is little chance the petition will receive the necessary signatures, but Democrats hope that even if that is the case, the move will provide them with something to mobilize around.