Democrat Who Left Congressional Hispanic Caucus Wants Back In

Rep. Filemon Vela of Texas left in protest over the proposed border surge.

A view of the US Capitol on January 27, 2014 in Washington.
National Journal
Elahe Izad
Add to Briefcase
Elahe Izad
Feb. 5, 2014, 10:02 a.m.

Rep. Filem­on Vela, who quit the Con­gres­sion­al His­pan­ic Caucus in protest over pro­posed mil­it­ar­iz­a­tion of the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der, wants to re­join, he tells Na­tion­al Journ­al.

Why? “I think my point has been well made,” the Texas Demo­crat said.

Vela’s Ju­ly resig­na­tion from the CHC was a sign of the in­tern­al de­bate tak­ing place among Demo­crats over the Sen­ate im­mig­ra­tion bill, and par­tic­u­larly the $46 bil­lion bor­der-surge amend­ment from Re­pub­lic­an Sens. Bob Cork­er and John Ho­even.

“The reas­on I left was be­cause at that time I felt that there was a move­ment afoot, not just with­in the His­pan­ic Caucus, but here on the en­tire Demo­crat­ic side, to sup­port Cork­er-Ho­even,” said Vela, whose dis­trict in­cludes the bor­der. “I just felt so strongly about the fact that we don’t need more walls, we don’t need to quad­ruple the size of our Bor­der Patrol agency. It was just something I felt I had to do at the time.”

After the Sen­ate im­mig­ra­tion bill passed, CHC Chair­man Rubén Hino­josa said in a state­ment that “the bill they passed is in line with the CHC’s Prin­ciples on Im­mig­ra­tion Re­form and provides all im­mig­rants the op­por­tun­ity to earn cit­izen­ship.” He later em­phas­ized the CHC hadn’t taken an of­fi­cial po­s­i­tion on the Sen­ate bill.

A near car­bon copy of the Sen­ate bill has been in­tro­duced in the House, and has a long list of mostly Demo­crat­ic co­spon­sors. But, not­ably, the Sen­ate bor­der-se­cur­ity amend­ment has been re­placed by one from Re­pub­lic­an Rep. Mi­chael Mc­Caul, which calls for the Home­land Se­cur­ity De­part­ment to first de­vel­op a bor­der plan, sub­ject to con­gres­sion­al ap­prov­al, that would elim­in­ate 90 per­cent of il­leg­al cross­ings with­in five years. The Mc­Caul bill has sup­port from Demo­crats and Re­pub­lic­ans alike.

“The Cork­er-Ho­even amend­ment is, for all prac­tic­al pur­poses, dead,” Vela said.

Vela also wants to re­join the CHC be­cause “every mem­ber of the His­pan­ic Caucus are good friends of mine” and he wants to par­ti­cip­ate in the CHC in­sti­tute’s pro­grams that brings stu­dents to Wash­ing­ton from around the coun­try.

The CHC is set to meet Thursday. At least 60 per­cent of the mem­bers have to vote to ap­prove Vela’s re­ad­mit­tance. There are cur­rently 26 mem­bers.

Will Vela have trouble get­ting back in? “I don’t think so,” he said, adding laugh­ingly, “I haven’t had to lobby for a vote yet.”

What We're Following See More »
SANS PROOF
NRA Chief: Leftist Protesters Are Paid
23 hours ago
UPDATE
NEW TRAVEL BAN COMING SOON
Trump Still on Campaign Rhetoric
1 days ago
UPDATE
“WE’RE CHANGING IT”
Trump Rails On Obamacare
1 days ago
UPDATE

After spending a few minutes re-litigating the Democratic primary, Donald Trump turned his focus to Obamacare. “I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe” he said. “I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work.” He finished, "so we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare."

FAKE NEWS
Trump Goes After The Media
1 days ago
UPDATE

Donald Trump lobbed his first attack at the “dishonest media” about a minute into his speech, saying that the media would not appropriately cover the standing ovation that he received. “We are fighting the fake news,” he said, before doubling down on his previous claim that the press is “the enemy of the people." However, he made a distinction, saying that he doesn't think all media is the enemy, just the "fake news."

FBI TURNED DOWN REQUEST
Report: Trump Asked FBI to Deny Russia Stories
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login