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Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Representing the 4th District of Illinois

Gutiérrez Leads Group of 25 House Dems Pledging To Push for Dream Act Passage This Year

November 8, 2017
Press Release
Team Whipping Democrats includes Reps. Raul Grijalva, Pramila Jayapal & Adriano Espaillat

Washington, DC – In the newspaper The Hill today, 25 House Democrats articulated their strategy and priorities in demanding a vote on the DREAM Act (HR. 3440) before the end of the year.  In short, the groups said they will withhold votes from various funding bills unless Republicans give them a vote on the DREAM Act.

“We will fight for our Dreamers”, The Hill, November 8, 2017

By Luis V. Gutiérrez, Raúl M. Grijalva, Adriano Espaillat, Pramila Jayapal, Mark Pocan, Steve Cohen, Sheila Jackson Lee, Ruben Gallego, Tony Cárdenas, Wm. Lacy Clay, Nydia M. Velázquez, José E. Serrano, Lois Frankel, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Jimmy Gomez, Chellie Pingree, Albio Sires, Eleanor Holmes Norton, James P. McGovern, Keith Ellison, Jan Schakowsky, Frank Pallone, Jr., Grace F. Napolitano, Barbara Lee, and Ro Khanna

Also today, several Members of Congress who had authored the article spoke at a Washington Press conference, including Luis V. Gutiérrez, Raúl M. Grijalva, Adriano Espaillat, Pramila Jayapal, Ruben Gallego, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Keith Ellison, Jan Schakowsky and Grace F. Napolitano.  The press conference was broadcast on Facebook Live:

In the op-ed, the Members of Congress said:

If Speaker Ryan does not call a vote on the DREAM Act (H.R. 3440) as a standalone bill, which would pass with bipartisan support, then he has two ways to approach the pending funding vote.  First, he can choose to coalesce his Republican colleagues, including the extreme factions, and enact a hardline budget that drastically cuts funding for essential programs, all while attempting to increase funding for the unpopular border wall. With this, the Speaker would appease a small group of lawmakers at the expense – literally – of most Americans, which is a huge risk that would place Republicans in a difficult position heading into an election year.

Or, the second and more likely scenario: Speaker Ryan can choose to keep the government open by presenting a workable budget that Democrats could support, which must include a clean version of the DREAM Act.  Such a spending package would reflect broad, bipartisan American values, not just the narrow interests of extremist Republicans.

They concluded:

The choice is for the Speaker to make.  As a group, we are actively whipping among our colleagues to create a critical mass of Democratic votes that will not support a funding package that fails to include a clean DREAM Act.  We are confident that Democrats from our Leadership to the rank-and-file – and even some Republicans – will stand with us when we get to December.

At the press conference, Members indicated that they are seeking to grow this core group to expand the number of Members committed to this strategy for passing the DREAM Act this year.

Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez is a Member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. 

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