ICYMI · News · Press Release

Steve Knight: Paul Ryan Immigration Bill ‘Will Go Down In Defeat’ But Will Help Him ‘Level with the DACA Population’

Makes Clear That Knight’s Bill To Stop Family Separations Was Purely Political

“While DREAMers wake up every morning with the uncertainty of whether they’ll be able to remain in this country, Congressman Steve Knight is in Washington playing political games with their futures to help bolster his increasingly imperiled re-election bid. Also, this is more evidence that Knight’s bill to stop family separation was all for show. This is exactly the kind of DC gamesmanship that voters across the country are rejecting.” – DCCC spokesperson Drew Godinich


Washington Post: Ryan’s mandate on immigration ignores the first lesson of how a bill becomes law


Paul D. Ryan seems to have forgotten the first key step in “I’m Just a Bill,” the “Schoolhouse Rock” jingle that debuted when the future House speaker was 5 years old in 1975.

“Bill,” a piece of legislation, sits on the Capitol steps and explains to a young boy all the hoops he has to go through, from committee to the House to the Senate to the White House, to become law.

But when it comes to immigration, Ryan (R-Wis.) has only one mandate for granting votes on immigration bills: President Trump’s support.

“We’re bringing bills to the floor that, if they got to his desk, he would sign,” Ryan told reporters Thursday morning.

This approach has so far resulted in repeated failure, ensuring that no legislation can actually reach Trump’s desk.

Simply put, the House cannot pass a Republican-only bill that bolsters border security and provides legal stability for up to 1.8 million undocumented immigrants who were brought here illegally by their parents or overstayed visas as children.


Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.), representing a swing district north of Los Angeles, agreed that any legislation tackling most of the immigration issues is “too bloated” to pass the House with only GOP votes.

Knight said that he knows the leadership-supported bill will probably go down in defeat but he still wanted to cast his affirmative vote so that his constituents know he wants to grant citizenship to those benefiting from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“The compromise bill gets me a lot more level with the DACA population,” he said.

Ryan acknowledged that the two votes were meant as a political exercise to allow Republicans to point to something they supported, regardless of whether it ever passed the House. “A lot of our members want to be able to express themselves by voting for the policies that they like,” Ryan said.

The speaker also cited the Senate filibuster, requiring a bipartisan supermajority of 60 votes to end debate, as “a source of the frustration we have around here.”

Any bill that passed the House, he said, would likely die in the Senate — ignoring the fact that there is no bill that has gotten to the Senate.

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