The House Rules Committee has allowed 135 amendments to the defense bill to move to the House floor, one of which may allow illegal immigrants to enlist in the military.
Republicans are furious that the amendment is attached to a must-pass, $612 billion dollar defense bill, especially given that Congress has dutifully signed off on the legislation for 53 years in a row, The Hill reports.
Sponsored by Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona, the amendment applies to recipients of President Barack Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) initiative, and would also give illegals a chance at citizenship.
First, the amendment passed by a 33-30 vote. All Democrats supported the bill, and six Republicans broke ranks to push the bill through the initial process. In a second attempt to block the bill, 25 House Republicans joined forces under the direction of Rep. Pete Sessions in asking the House Rules Committee to kill the amendment. The attempt failed. (RELATED: Republicans Gear Up For A Clash With Democrats Over Funneling Illegals Into Military)
“To jam this amnesty provision into the NDAA goes beyond the pale in playing politics with national security,” James Jay Carafano, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the Heritage Foundation, said in a press release.
“This literally destroys the credibility of the NDAA as must-pass legislation that the nation needs to provide for the common defense. The Gallego Amendment is unnecessary for national security; makes a mockery of U.S. immigration law; and is a slap in the face to those who want to come here and play by the rules.”
Another amendment from Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama is also appearing on the House floor, which in effect exists to undo Gallego’s proposal. Brooks originally protested the addition of Gallego’s amendment, saying that the House Armed Services Committee gave assent in the “early morning sleep-depraved portion” of the 18-hour markup. Republican Rep. Steve King came in support of Brooks, who also tried to convince the House Rules Committee to toss the amendment, and argued that immigration issues should be dealt with by the Judiciary Committee.
The final passage of the National Defense Authorization Act is expected to occur on Friday.
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