The conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C. is that Republicans and Democrats simply can’t get past their disagreements in order to pass legislation protecting the Dreamers from deportation.
Rachel Maddow shattered that narrative on Wednesday, explaining that GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan is singlehandedly blocking protections by refusing to hold a vote.
As the MSNBC star noted, if Ryan held a vote, it would likely have enough combined votes from Democrats and Republicans to advance – but he refuses to.
Maddow slammed Ryan and outlined how House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s record-breaking speech today was a signal that Democrats are shifting strategies to put pressure on the Speaker:
In the House, Republican Speaker Paul Ryan has made no such promise. And you know, if they did vote on it, a bunch of Republicans would probably vote for it and all the Democrats would vote for it, so Paul Ryan definitely doesn’t want to do anything like that. In the House, though, it’s not clear what leverage the Democrats have to get Paul Ryan to change his mind on this. And so today it apparently was time for a new tactic. This has never been done before. A member of the house holding the floor. In this case, she used her eight-plus hours on the house floor to tell story after story, personal stories of immigrants brought here as kids who have never known any other country besides this one and nevertheless facing deportation by the Trump administration, deportation to countries they have never known. She held the floor without a break, without being interrupted, without sitting down for eight hours and seven minutes.
The problem isn’t that the public doesn’t support allowing Dreamers to remain in the country. Most Americans understand that they were brought here as children through no fault of their own. To throw them out would betray the very values that make the United States the beacon of the world.
It’s also untrue that there isn’t enough support among Democrats and Republicans to pass legislation that would shield DACA recipients. There is, in fact, enough votes among lawmakers in both parties to get this done today.
The problem, of course, is Ryan, who continues to refuse a vote on these protections, leaving hundreds of thousands of Dreamers at risk of deportation if nothing is done by March 5.
Donald Trump caused this mess by lifting these protections. Paul Ryan is making it worse by not holding a vote to clean it up.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.
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