Senate Democrats said they are willing to use a parliamentary tactic called the Ninth Order to force a vote on two bills on the Senate floor. Senate Democratic Leader Ed Murray said he believes there are enough votes to pass the Washington Dream Act and an abortion insurance bill known as the Reproductive Parity Act.
“We have a majority of members who want these bills to pass, but the philosophical majority is not being allowed to bring these bills forward,” Murray said. He said “eventually we’re going to have to go to Ninth Order” if the Majority Coalition Caucus won’t move the bills.
The Washington Dream Act would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for state Need Grants to help pay for college. The Reproductive Parity Act would require all insurance companies in the state to provide coverage for abortions if they also cover maternity care. Both bills passed out of the House, but never received committee votes in the Senate.
Murray said by calling a press conference about the issue on Monday, he is hoping to “avoid the theater that sometimes happens around the Ninth Order.” Last year, Republicans and conservative Democrats used the Ninth Order to force a vote on GOP-backed budget.
Democrats would have to use the tactic before the end of the day Wednesday, which marks a key cutoff deadline.
“The votes are there,” Murray said. “There is no reason not to pass the legislation.”
Watch the press conference below: