WASHINGTON, DC – Members of the House's bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus — Reps. Tom Reed (R-NY23), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ5), Thomas Suozzi (D-NY3), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA8), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA20) signed the discharge petition that would force a series of floor votes on four DACA, immigration and border security proposals under the “Queen of the Hill” rule. More than half of the Republicans who have signed are members of the Caucus.
The Problem Solvers Caucus first called for the rule to be employed in a February 7 letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, and earlier proposed a bipartisan agreement on a set of principles to resolve DACA while continuing to make America’s borders strong and secure.
Co-Chairs of the Problem Solvers Caucus Congressmen Reed and Gottheimer issued a joint statement:
“The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus is determined to achieve a legislative solution to DACA and border security. We believe immigration reform should be bipartisan and that The House must address the uncertainty of the DACA eligible population. Implementing the discharge petition is the only way to ensure an open process allowing for the best ideas from both sides and demonstrating to the American public that Congress can still find common ground.”
Gottheimer's district includes 19 municipalities in Sussex County, with Andover Borough, Andover Township, Newton, Fredon, Hardyston and Franklin among them.
The "Queen of the Hill" rule means that several bills on the same issue are voted on at the same time, the measure with the most votes moves forward.
Congressman Suozzi said, “When it comes to the fierce and urgent issue of the DREAMers, Democrats and Republicans need to work together to give the American people what they want. 90 percent of Americans support DACA recipients and it’s time for policymakers to fix this crisis. It’s also time for policymakers to use a DACA fix to make a statement about how working together to find common sense solutions is the best and only way forward on so many issues. As the Caucus’ Vice Chair, I know the Problem Solvers will keep pushing to find common ground to get things done in Congress. Because that’s what the American people demand and deserve.”
“I came to Washington determined to make a difference," Congressman Fitzpatrick said.. "I’ve seen firsthand the threats our nation faces from a fragmented and broken immigration system and a porous border. I’m signing this discharge petition with my colleagues in the Problem Solvers Caucus to debate and vote on legislative solutions to secure our borders, respect the rule of law, and protect our DACA kids. We cannot and must not allow partisanship to prevent sensible fixes from being implemented. Our nation’s security and our nation’s children depend on us.” “By working in our communities, succeeding in our schools, and serving in our military Dreamers are Americans in every way but on paper. As a co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus Immigration Task Force, I remain committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to change that. With this discharge petition, we can vote on legislation that has broad bipartisan support and make a real change to support these young men and women,” said Congressman Panetta.