Rep. Ted Lieu: "Ludicrous" That Paul Ryan Won't Allow House To Vote On DACA

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In an interview Wednesday afternoon with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu explained why he is not planning to vote for Speaker Paul Ryan's budget plan.

"Think how ludicrous this is," Lieu explained. "Speaker Ryan won't even allow a debate on DACA, won't even allow us to just cast votes on legislation that is bipartisan that could address this problem. And it's because Speaker Ryan's position is so absurd and so extreme that many Democrats don't want to vote for this bill right now."

WOLF BLITZER: Will you vote, Congressman, for the Senate budget deal, the compromise deal worked out by the Democratic and Republican leadership in the Senate?



REP. TED LIEU: No, and let me tell you why.

In the House of Representatives, the Republicans control the House, and unlike the Senate, there's no 60-vote filibuster. So, Republicans can pass the Senate deal, they can any legislation they want just on their votes.

But if they want my vote, then they need to negotiate with us. And one of my reasonable requests is a fix to DACA, so we don't deport 1.8 million people. And if they don't need my vote, then they can pass it by themselves on their own votes.

BLITZER: Nancy Pelosi says if the speaker, Paul Ryan, agrees to do what Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, did, have a fair, full debate on the Senate floor or the House floor on the dreamers, on DACA, that she probably will change her mind.

Right now, she doesn't have that commitment from the speaker. If you get that commitment from the speaker, will you vote for it?

LIEU: I likely would.

And let's think how ludicrous this is. Speaker Ryan won't even allow a debate on DACA, won't even allow us to just cast votes on legislation that is bipartisan that could address this problem. And it's because Speaker Ryan's position is so absurd and so extreme that many Democrats don't want to vote for this bill right now.

BLITZER: But if he agrees, you will vote for the legislation.

There's a lot in the legislation, the Senate version, that Democrats wanted, major disaster relief for Puerto Rico, for example, community clinics, a lot of funding for community clinics. The debt ceiling gets raised. There's a lot of important information, important benefits that you want.

Why continue to lurch month to month with continuing resolutions if this isn't passed?

LIEU: You're right, Wolf. There is a lot in the Senate bill that Democrats support.

But, again, in the House of Representatives, they don't need my vote. The Republicans control it. They could pass it by themselves. But if they want my vote, they need to talk to us. They need to at least let us have the right on vote on immigration issues. And really deporting 1.8 million people who were brought here as children, that is cruel. And this is something that is worth fighting for.

BLITZER: If it does pass in the Senate, clearly, it will pass in the Senate tomorrow, then passes in the House of Representatives, the president just tweeted he wants Republicans to support the Senate bill.

He says: "The budget agreement today is so important for our great military."

But if it does pass tomorrow, are you still worried that even if the speaker makes a commitment to let there be a full debate on the House floor on the future of the dreamers, that it might not pass, the dreamer legislation? They could be in trouble.

LIEU: I am not worried, because there's bipartisan support for dreamers, not just in the House of Representatives, but among the American public. People understand that you don't want to deport children who were brought here through no fault of their own, that are working, going to school, being model citizens, that that's just plain wrong.

So, I think we would have bipartisan support if we just had the chance to vote on bipartisan legislation to address dreamers.

BLITZER: So what you believe that, if the legislation passes, there will be a deal on dreamers?

LIEU: Are you talking about if the Senate deal passes or if...

BLITZER: If the Senate deal passes and you get a commitment for a full debate on the House floor, will there be a deal, or will there never be a deal on the dreamers?

LIEU: If Speaker Ryan makes a commitment that we will have full debate and a chance to vote on legislation to address dreamers, then I do believe there will be a deal, because you will see very quickly that there is large bipartisan support to fix the issue for dreamers.

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