House Democratic leaders are drafting a resolution designed to inoculate freshman lawmakers on the issue of immigration, despite concerns from within their own Caucus about reopening debate over the contentious topic.
According to several freshman Democratic lawmakers in attendance at a weekly breakfast meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), Members were told to prepare statements on the resolution, which will endorse laws already on the books that prevent illegal immigrants from participating in taxpayer-funded programs, such as Social Security or food stamps.
In a draft of the resolution obtained by Roll Call, the measure expresses the sense of the House “with respect to the importance of upholding federal immigration laws and ensuring the integrity and security of the borders of the United States.”
In addition to the language on public benefits, the draft resolution also contains provisions calling on the executive branch to enforce laws on voter fraud and border security.
But one House lawmaker, who asked not to be identified, said some senior Members have objected to the proposal over concerns that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to limit the scope of the debate. The House largely abandoned plans to pursue a comprehensive immigration reform bill earlier this year after the Senate failed to cut off debate on its own version of the legislation, effectively killing the bill.
Some think that this measure could be on the floor within a week--others think it could be longer.