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blog: jamie-dupree

DACA votes could happen this week in the House on a major package of spending bills - it's up to GOP leaders

Published: Monday, September 04, 2017 @ 4:55 AM

As lawmakers and immigration activists on both sides await President Donald Trump's decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programs (DACA), the House could conceivably cast a number of tough votes on the issue as early as this week - if GOP leaders want to allow consideration of DACA-related amendments to a package of eight major spending bills before the House this week.

In late August, lawmakers in both parties filed nine different amendments to the underlying bill, which would fund a big chunk of the federal government in the next fiscal year - including the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security - to both preserve and do away with DACA, a program started under the Obama Administration that shields younger illegal immigrants from the threat of deportation.

The nine different plans related to DACA still must be reviewed by the House Rules Committee, which sets the ground rules for debate on bills that reach the floor of the House - it's a panel that does what the GOP leadership wants to do, in terms of what issues are voted on in the full House.

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Just look at the list of DACA amendments, and it's obvious, you could have a full blown debate on DACA in coming days - if the GOP leadership in the House wanted to allow that to happen.

The amendments that have been filed range from strong opponents of DACA - Rep. Steve King (R-IA) wants to prevent any money from being used to enforce DACA - to Democrats who would block any funds from being used to deport someone who had registered under DACA.

"Ending DACA now gives chance to restore Rule of Law," King said in a Tweet on Sunday evening, as news leaked out that the President might allow DACA to lapse, but give the Congress six extra months to figure out what to do with it.

There are clearly some Republicans who don't want to do away with DACA - how many, is not so clear.

While GOP leaders might not want to forge ahead with votes this week on whether to allow DACA to go forward under next year's budget - the option is there. We'll find out in coming days what they decide to do.

The House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday afternoon to start figuring out which amendments will make the cut - and which will not.

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