Technically, the House moved bill, which would outlaw giving driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, from the Consumer and Public Affairs Committee to the Judiciary Committee. The bill still has additional procedural hurdles to clear before it can be considered on the House floor.
But the vote may be indicative of how the additional procedural votes will go. If so, the House is likely to vote later today to immediately consider Nuñez’s bill.
Following the procedural vote, Rep. Sandra Jeff, one of two Democrats who voted with Republicans and Nuñez, criticized House Speaker Ben Luján. She said Luján’s chief of staff approached her and made comments to her after the vote that upset her. She also demanded respect.
“This is my vote,” she said. “This has nothing to do with your vote.”
Luján didn’t directly respond.
The other Democrat breaking ranks to vote with Republicans and Nuñez was Dona Irwin of Deming.
Sources say that, if the House votes to consider the bill, the House is also likely to approve the bill. There are apparently some Democrats who don’t support bypassing the committee process to bring the bill directly to the floor, but do support the legislation and plan to vote for it.
So the bill may be headed toward eventual approval by the House later today.
It could be hours before the issue is decided, however. Debate on remaining procedural votes could last hours (discussion on whether that discussion can even be had is currently ongoing). Then, if the bill is brought to the floor, debate on the bill could last another three hours before a member can force a vote.
If this all sounds a little confusing, it’s because even members on the House floor are confused about all the procedural moves that are being attempted and the rules that apply. That’s part of what is taking so long.