Updated 12:20 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 20, 2014
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Immigration Reform 2014: House Budget Committee Votes Down Immigration Reform Amendment

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Paul Ryan
The USHCC is commending the GOP for releasing a set of principles to pursue immigration reform while GOP leaders like Paul Ryan are maintaining a cautious "security first" approach to the issue. (Photo : Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A House Democrat tried unsuccessfully Wednesday to get House members to bring a vote on comprehensive immigration reform.

During the House Budget Committee's markup session of Rep. Paul Ryan's, R-Wis., House Republican budget plan for FY2015, Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., introduced the House Democrat's version of comprehensive immigration reform as an amendment to the plan. However, the amendment was voted down, led by House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan, with a 21 to 15 party vote, Think Progress reports.

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Cárdenas and other House Democrats said that the immigration reform bill would "lower the deficit by more than $900 billion, while creating an additional 120,000 jobs each year."

His press release also stated, "This budget cripples our commitment to seniors, to middle class families, to kids in our schools and to the job creators who we depend on to build this nation. It also ignores the massive effect that comprehensive immigration reform could have on our economy."

But Ryan shot down the immigration bill, saying the border needs to be secured first, and that "laws aren't being enforced." He also said that reform should be passed in a piecemeal fashion.

"Chairman [Bob] Goodlatte, R-Va., and Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, are already well on their way," Ryan said. "They're having lots of hearings ... This is the Budget Committee. It's not our committee's jurisdiction to rewrite all of the immigration laws. It is those Committees' jurisdictions and they're well into doing that and the plan is to have a series of bills, not one big massive thousand-plus-page bill, but a series of bills ... we think that's a far better approach and that's why I urge a 'no' vote on this amendment."

Cárdenas' rebutted, "This is the Committee that we should handle it in, Mr. Chairman. Just as you are using Medicare - rewriting Medicare - to balance the budget as well in this committee."

Nine months ago, Ryan said that immigration reform could spur economic growth.

"Immigrants bring talent and hard work," Ryan said in a July 2013 interview with the National Journal. "Immigrant-owned small businesses employ about 4.7 million people ... [Low-skilled workers] bring labor to our economy so jobs can get done."

The amendment was not likely to pass, as House Republican leaders oppose a comprehensive approach to overhauling the immigration system. Ryan's budget plan is also not expected to pass in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

No House Republicans have signed onto the discharge petition that was brought forth by House Democrats last week to force a floor vote for the immigration bill.

Ryan's nay vote on the amendment could hurt his standing with Latino voters if he runs for president in the 2016 election.

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