The Blog

McCain Blocks Immigration Enforcement?

3:48 PM, Mar 27, 2008 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
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Congressman Heath Shuler (D-NC) is claiming that John McCain has been pressing Republicans not to sign onto the discharge petition for his legislation to enhance immigration enforcement. In considering the likelihood that this is true, let's look at the reality of the situation:

A discharge petition needs 218 signatures to bring a bill to the floor. The petition was filed just 4 legislative days ago -- on March 11, with March 14 being the last day to add signatures before Easter recess. In those 4 days, Republicans got 172 signatures (out of 198 Republicans in the House). In the same time, the Democrats got 9 signatures for the petition (out of 49 cosponsors of the legislation). We know there's heavy pressure from senior liberal Democrats not to sign the petition.

So the petition has been signed by 90 percent of all Republicans in the House, and by less than 20 percent of all its Democratic sponsors. Shuler seems to be more concerned with CYA and blame spreading than with getting the bill to the floor.