Democrats in the House leadership and those who are trying their best to get re-elected in states Trump won…well, they really don’t want much to do with the Abolish ICE movement that’s swirling around the more extreme fringes of the party. They love to go on television and talk about how dastardly the Trump administration is and how awful it is when his “thugs” enforce U.S. immigration law, but when it comes down to actually taking action? Er, they really don’t want to go there.
So when Rep. Mark Pocan and a couple of his progressive buddies introduced legislation last month that would abolish the agency, Democrats in the leadership quietly pretended they didn’t know anything about it.
Unfortunately for them, Republicans noticed.
The original plan – a brilliant one that we actually wish they’d gone through with – was to bring Pocan’s bill up for a floor vote and force Democrats to either vote for the bill, thus showing moderate voters where this party really is on illegal immigration, or vote against it and make themselves look like complete idiots for all of their base to see. Paul Ryan ultimately concluded that this gambit had the potential to backfire, though, and so chose a safer route: He introduced a resolution on Wednesday to express congressional support for ICE, putting Democrats in the unenviable position of at least proving to America that they do NOT share in that support.
Which they did.
From ABC News:
House Republicans forced a vote Wednesday on a resolution to express support for ICE — Immigration and Customs Enforcement — enraging Democrats who complained the measure was a political stunt intended to embarrass Democrats who have called to abolish the embattled agency.
The vote passed by a count of 244 to 35, as 133 Democrats elected to vote “present” on the resolution. The bill was brought to the floor under suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds super-majority of members voting and present for passage. About 69 percent of members voted in favor of the resolution.
The vast majority of House Democrats refused to take an up or down position on the non-binding resolution. Instead, 133 Democrats, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Whip Steny Hoyer and Assistant Leader James Clyburn, voted “present.” Eighteen Democrats supported the resolution, while 34 bold Democrats took the plunge to vote a hard “no.”
It’s pretty sad when only 18 Democrats in Washington will affirm their support for one of this nation’s law enforcement agencies. When you think about it, it’s really sad indeed.
House Democrats announced this week that their new campaign slogan heading into the midterms will be “For the People.” Guess we know which people they’re talking about…