DCCC spokesman and proud DREAMer Javier Gamboa released the following statement in response to the news that just two days after filing his discharge petition, Rep. Coffman caved to Speaker Paul Ryan and is abandoning his effort to protect the 800,000 DREAMers caught in the crosshairs of President Trump and the GOP’s anti-immigration agenda.
“Two days. That’s how long it took Mike Coffman to cave to Speaker Paul Ryan and abandon DREAMers,” said DCCC spokesman and proud DREAMer Javier Gamboa. “Now that Rep. Coffman scored the political points, he’s fallen back in line with Republican leadership hell-bent on blocking immigration reform. This heartless gimmick from Rep. Coffman proves he’s only concerned with his own political future, not fighting for the 800,000 DACA recipients worried facing deportation under President Trump and House Republicans.”
Rep. Coffman has a long history of backing Republican efforts to block immigration reform, click here to learn more.
GOP lawmaker drops effort to force vote to extend DACA protections | The Hill
By Cristina Marcos
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) said Thursday that he won’t pursue an effort to force a vote on his bill to extend work permits and deferred deportations for young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
Coffman said he made an agreement with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to hold off on gathering support for his discharge petition for the bill, which would extend protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for three years.
Coffman filed the discharge petition on Tuesday, which would need 218 signatures to trigger a House floor vote. Discharge petitions are typically used by the House minority party to bring attention to legislation ignored by the majority-party leadership – but are rarely successful.
For a member of the House majority like Coffman to file a discharge petition was an exceedingly rare move.
But Coffman told The Hill that he spoke with Ryan on Thursday and agreed to hold off on his discharge petition as lawmakers begin to consider a long-term legislative fix for undocumented immigrant children.
Only three lawmakers have signed onto Coffman’s discharge petition so far: Reps. Jared Polis (Colo.), Adam Smith (Wash.) and Bobby Rush (Ill.), all of whom are Democrats. No fellow Republicans have endorsed Coffman’s move at this point.
Members of the House majority rarely endorse, let alone create, discharge petitions given the potential to embarrass the leadership.
Coffman noted that he is trying to gather cosponsors for the underlying bill, titled the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act. So far it has 25 cosponsors, including 12 Republicans.
Coffman told The Hill in an interview last week before the House returned from its August recess that he was “not asking for permission” from GOP leadership to file the discharge petition.
Coffman is one of 23 House Republicans who represent districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, making him one of Democrats’ top targets heading into the 2018 midterm elections.
His district is also about 20 percent Hispanic as a result of redistricting. Coffman has sought to establish a softer position on immigration in recent years by learning Spanish and endorsing legislation to protect young undocumented immigrants.
Before his district was redrawn to include more Hispanic constituents, Coffman co-sponsored a bill ending birthright citizenship and voted against the DREAM Act in 2010.
Jason Crow, Coffman’s Democratic challenger, seized on the decision to set aside the discharge petition.
“The shifting story around his so-called ‘BRIDGE Act’ reflects an unfortunate and all-too-familiar pattern with Congressman Mike Coffman — lots of words with little action, all in service of his own reelection,” Crow said in a statement.