How months of inaction led 20 Republicans to take a stand on immigration

“This institution acts only when pressured to, and we knew that we needed to find a new source of pressure,” said Curbelo, who represents a South Florida district that is home to an estimated 5,000 dreamers.

The discharge proponents have been inspired by their ideological opposites on the GOP’s hard right, who have used procedural hardball tactics to drive Republican legislation in their own direction. That was on display Friday, when members of the House Freedom Caucus voted down a massive GOP-written farm bill to secure a vote on conservative immigration legislation and block bipartisan alternatives.

“While I am frustrated by a lot of the Freedom Caucus’s tactics, I can also appreciate that their tactics are forcing their issues forward,” Denham said. “And I think there are a number of us who realized that.”