You can either call this a procedural trick or a fracturing of the Democratic majority in the House. Either way, the new background check bill that passed in the House yesterday wound up including an amendment that requires ICE to be notified when an illegal alien attempts to purchase a firearm in the United States. The amendment to the bill was added via a motion to recommit. This procedure allows the minority to introduce an amendment after the bill is finalized but before the Speaker calls for a full floor vote. It didn’t pass by much, but some of the new crop of Democratic freshmen helped push it over the finish line. (Washington Times)
Republicans scored a rare victory in the Democrat-controlled House Wednesday, winning a vote to have authorities notify deportation officers any time an illegal immigrant tries to buy a gun.
It’s illegal for those in the country without legal status to have firearms, but an average of more than 10 a day try anyway.
Republicans offered an amendment to a broader gun background check bill to have the National Instant Criminal Background Check System report them to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which could then decide if it wants to pick them up for deportation.
The future of this bill is very much in doubt since there’s no word as to whether it will even come up for a vote in the Senate or if the President would sign it. But on the odd chance that it does actually pass, this amendment would be a positive development.
Usually, when Democrats talk about passing new gun control laws, many of us shake our heads and try to remind them that we probably wouldn’t need any new gun laws if we could manage to start enforcing the ones that are already on the books. This amendment is a case of actually making it easier to enforce those laws while offering another tool for immigration enforcement to track down illegal aliens. The NICBC system would be able to flag the location of an illegal alien for ICE and identify them as someone attempting to illegally purchase a firearm. Sounds like a winner to me.
Amazingly, despite this being an obviously good idea, more than 200 Democrats voted against it anyway. (They defeated the same amendment in February when the bill was approved in the House Judiciary Committee.) But in a development that highlights some cracks in the Democratic leadership, 26 of their members voted for it. You can see the full list at the Daily Caller. Of the 26 defectors, all but four were from districts Trump carried in 2016 and 18 of them were elected last year. One example is Democrat Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) who barely managed to replace Republican Claudia Tenney in a race that was still being counted weeks after election day.
As I mentioned above, there’s a very good chance that this bill never sees the light of day. But if nothing else, it shows that Nancy Pelosi has a more difficult job of herding cats in front of her for the next two years than she would like. This is the Democratic Party that was supposed to be working to abolish ICE, but the Speaker has a pack of new members that don’t follow orders meekly.