House Dems vow to try rare tactic to force votes on immigration, minimum wage

Nancy Pelosi on Daily ShowThe latest sign that the Democratic Party may be expecting dismal results in November is evident in reports that they’ll employ the tactic known as a “discharge petition.”

Viewed by some as a “Hail Mary” of sorts, the legislative tactic requires at least 18 Republican lawmakers to join forces with Democrats.

The idea is to use the means in the GOP-controlled House to force votes on issues that stand to benefit Democrats — issues such as raising the minimum wage and immigration reform, Fox News reported.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said her caucus will make a play when Congress returns from its break Feb. 24, according to Fox News.

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“We do see immigration as an economic issue, reducing the deficit [and] growing the economy,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters last week. “But right now, we’re starting with the minimum wage.”

Polls show a minimum wage hike is heavily supported by voters, and forcing Republicans to reject an increase could hurt their chances at the ballot box.

Democrats understand a discharge petition is a long shot — the last time it worked was in 2002 to deliver a vote on campaign finance legislation.

“I don’t think we’re ever confident that we’re going to get 18 Republicans to sign a discharge petition,” said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

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Tom Tillison

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