Background on Discharge Petition and SAVE Act

WASHINGTON, March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Office of House Republican Whip Roy Blunt:

Rep. Thelma Drake (Va.) filed a discharge petition on H.R. 4088, the Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act of 2007, this afternoon. This bipartisan legislation has 143 cosponsors, 48 Democrats and 93 Republicans, and has three steps that secure our nation's border and strengthen enforcement of our current immigration laws.

A discharge petition can be filed after a bill has been pending, but not acted on, for 30 legislative days. The petition is given to the Clerk of the House who is tasked with publishing the petition signatures once a week in the Congressional Record on the last legislative day of the week.

Once 218 Members have signed the petition, it is placed on the House calendar. After the petition has been on the calendar for at least 7 legislative days, the petition can be called up on the 2nd or 4th Monday of a month immediately following the Pledge of Allegiance. The petition can only be called up by a signer. After 20 minutes of debate, there is a motion to proceed to the consideration of the bill.

If the House does not meet on the 2nd or 4th Monday of a month, the discharge petition can be brought up on any of the last 6 days of Congress.

Below is a description of H.R. 4088:

Title I--Secure America's Borders

-- Increases Border Patrol agents by 8,000, utilizes new technology and infrastructure to secure the border and expands a specialized enforcement program called the "Tunnel Task Force."

-- Outlines provisions for recruitment of new agents and personnel through bonuses, student loan repayments, and other financial incentives.

-- Creates a pilot program to increase aerial surveillance, satellite, and equipment sharing between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense to SAVE taxpayer dollars.

Title II - Mandatory Work Authorization Verification

-- Expands the E-Verify program and makes it mandatory for employers.

-- E-Verify provides employers with an inexpensive, quick, and accurate way to verify employee eligibility.

-- E-Verify already exists and has had tremendous success, but it currently is voluntary, which puts users at an economic disadvantage if competitors hire illegal aliens, and is only being used by a fraction of U.S. employers.

-- Employees must provide an acceptable form of ID from a limited list. Employers receive verification in seconds.

-- Closes the existing loopholes in E-Verify to detect multiple people using the same social security number and to detect people using stolen identities.

-- Requires information sharing between the Department of Homeland Security, the Social Security Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service.

Title III -Reduces Illegal Immigration Through Interior Enforcement

-- Increases investigative abilities of ICE by employing more agents and training additional state and local law enforcement personnel.

-- Expedites the removal of illegal aliens by expanding detention capacity and increasing the number of Federal District Court Judges.

-- Implements a targeted media campaign to inform illegal aliens of new laws and penalties, while also informing employers of penalties for hiring illegal immigrants.

SOURCE House Republican Whip Roy Blunt