Is House Judiciary The Place Where ‘Bills Go To Die’?

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Is the House Judiciary Committee the place where “bills go to die”? So reports Politico, quoting several congressional sources. One example: In late February, Speaker Paul Ryan and his team went to committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) with a request. With a White House deadline approaching to address the fate of Dreamers facing possible deportation, the leaders wanted to put Goodlatte’s conservative immigration plan on the House floor, but needed him to change it to win more votes. Goodlatte, an immigration hard-liner, assured Ryan he would be flexible. Weeks later, the legislation is languishing. No substantive changes have been made to the measure. House Republicans have done nothing to deliver on President Trump’s promise to do right by young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. “The chairman’s efforts undermined all of the work that the White House has done and that many of us have done here to try to build a bipartisan coalition,” said Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), who opposes the bill’s current version.

House Republican leaders have spent more than five years trying to cajole the 65-year-old Goodlatte to take up consequential legislation. Instead, he has moved slowly or not at all, his GOP colleagues say, often stalling until lawmakers move on. “I can’t think of a single thing he’s actually accomplished,” said a top GOP Republican aide. He has hesitated to hold a hearing on the Florida school shooting, but now says he will do so. Goodlatte tells Politico he has held more than 300 hearings. He ticked off legislation the committee has passed over the years, including a permanent ban on taxing internet access and an overhaul to U.S. intelligence-gathering programs. He said his committee passed about a dozen criminal justice reform bills only to see them die in the Senate.

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