On DREAM Act, 9 Democrats defect on rule vote, even as caucus shows more unity
House votes on rules to begin debate on legislation are typically party-line tests. But when nine Democrats voted Tuesday against the rule for an immigration bill, it was a high-water mark for Democratic defections this year.
Still, Democrats are more unified on such votes than the House majority party has been in all but two years of the last decade.
The rule adopted Tuesday allowed the House to begin debating a measure to provide permanent legal protections for young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers who were brought to the U.S. as children, as well as for recipients of the Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure programs. The House passed the measure Tuesday evening, 237-187.
In adopting the rule, the Democratic majority waived their pay-as-you-go, or PAYGO, rule that requires legislation that would increase the deficit to be offset by spending cuts or revenue increases. The Dream and Promise Act would add more than $30 billion to the deficit, according to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.
The nine Democrats who voted against the rule are from the moderate wing of the caucus: Reps. Anthony Brindisi of New York, Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Sharice Davids of Kansas, Jared Golden of Maine, Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, Ben McAdams of Utah, Scott Peters of California and Lauren Underwood of Illinois.