Democrats Force Immigration Vote at Budget Hearing

Democrats, who recently gathered on the Capitol steps in support of immigration, are using committee hearings to continue to push for the issue. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats Wednesday used a meeting intended to advance House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan's spending blueprint to force Republicans into a symbolic vote on immigration reform.  

Freshman Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Calif., used an all-day markup convened by the Budget committee to force the roll call vote on the Democrats' immigration legislation . Cardenas offered the text of the immigration bill as an amendment to Ryan's proposed 2015 budget.  

"This is the only amendment that would create jobs and reduce the deficit in one amendment," Cardenas argued.  

He added, "this is the only vote we can get."  

Ryan has been an outspoken advocate of rewriting the nation's immigration system and supports the immigration principles released by party leaders this winter. (But just 18 House Republicans have been willing to say they back that document. See our CQ Roll Call whip count here .)  

After the Cardenas effort Wednesday, Ryan said it "goes without saying" that immigration is "a broken system," but he still joined his 20 fellow Republicans in voting down the amendment.  

Fifteen Democrats voted "yes." The only House Republicans who have signed onto the House's comprehensive immigration overhaul bill are Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Californians Jeff Denham and David Valadao — none of whom sit on the Budget committee — to lend their support to Cardenas' effort.