The bill has been introduced and is being lead by former QB and current Rep Heath Shuler. Despite the fact that Shuler is a Dem, the leadership in the House has refused to bring the bill to the floor unless it includes a mechanism for amnesty. Of course, this would defeat the purpose of the bill. Shuler and his allies have been undaunted. The bill has enjoyed bi partisan support as well as support from an eclectic group of activists and special interest groups. Shuler has pushed for what is called a discharge petition. He needs a majority of the Representatives to sign it and then the bill will reach the floor outside the authority of the Speaker. Normally, such a move has about a snowball's chance in hell of working. With the SAVE Act, the discharge petition has meticulously reached 189 and only needs 31 more signatures.
What is most amazing about what has happened is that it has been done with little if any media attention. Because this bill is enforcement only, the MSM has naturally nearly totally ignored it. Furthermore, the right blogosphere has given it little attention as well. Besides a few mentions on Michelle Malkin's site the right blogosphere has been totally asleep at the wheel in promoting this bill. Despite the fact that the right blogosphere claims to be so concerned about illegal immigration, they have said little about a bill that finally attempts to sensible deal with the problem.
In fact, the bill has been promoted through a sophisticated if low key network of special interest sites that include: Numbers USA, GOP USA, Human Events, Townhall, and the Minute Men Civil Defense Corps. These groups use a sophisticated system of emailed updates using their vast network of members to create the sort of grass roots ground game necessary to push this discharge petition through. Here is a part of the latest email alert from Numbers...
The most powerful way to stop any new attempts to reward illegal aliens with amnesty is to prove that enforcement can dramatically reduce the current illegal population. We have a chance to do that this year if we can force a vote in the U.S. House on the bi-partisan SAVE Act (H.R. 4088) of Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.).
But Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi won't allow a vote on SAVE.So, 187 Members of the U.S. House have signed a Discharge Petition to force a vote. If we can persuade just 31 more Members of the 435 in the House to sign the petition, Pelosi will be required to put the SAVE Act to a vote.
Thus, what is happening is a ground swell of excitement that is happening largely with the mainstream of the public not noticing. If the MSM or even the blogosphere had created the sort of buzz they would for any number of other bills, the SAVE Act would already be law. Instead, what is happening is a sophisticated 21st century viral grass roots effort being run and maintained solely by the most vocal and dedicated of anti illegal immigration activists. If 31 more signatures get signed on this petition, it will be a feat of legislative history, and furthermore, it will be one the mainstream public won't know about until it has already happened.