Saturday, September 8, 2007

In the wake of August's "vote meltdown" over the Agricultural bill and the failure of a motion to recommit that declared that "illegal immigrants" should not receive food stamps, House Democrats plot strategy to protect their members from claims that they are "soft" on "illegal immigration." Roll Call reports on some of the measures being considered by Democratic leadership (e.a.):

Neither Clyburn nor Hoyer would provide details for any potential proposal, including whether the measure would be new law or a nonbinding resolution.

“We’re talking about a lot of options and I don’t want to prejudge what options we’re going to choose,” Hoyer said.

The Maryland lawmaker added that because the Republican amendment at the heart of the August incident would have restated existing law — a point the GOP refutes — Democrats could opt to ask the executive branch to enforce statutes already on the books.

“We may just reiterate the law,” Hoyer said. Democrats also have pre-emptively discussed expanding the new effort to other hot-button legislative areas targeted by the GOP.

One Democratic lawmaker, who asked not to be identified, said the plan has been presented to some Members as a blanket measure that would prohibit the use of taxpayer-funded programs, such as food stamps, by immigrants in the country illegally.

“The idea is to reject them out of hand because they’ll be clearly redundant,” the Democrat said. “They’ll come up with some other ridiculous avenue to use, but hopefully this takes that off the table.”