- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
- Detroit porch shooting trial: Suspect says he didn’t know gun was loaded
Sen. Marco Rubio: Immigration bill does not have votes to pass
Question of the Day
Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday that there aren’t 60 votes to pass the immigration bill he wrote and that the Senate will have to embrace even stiffer enforcement in order to win voters’ confidence and sway lawmakers reluctant to repeat the mistakes of the 1986 amnesty.
The Florida Republican’s acknowledgement comes as both sides of the debate are preparing for the bill to hit the Senate floor next week. After weeks of discontent simmering beneath the surface, conservatives and liberals have begun to publicly take shots at the bill, leaving immigrant rights groups to circle the wagons ahead of what’s expected to be a bruising floor fight.
“In essence, what people say to us is, ‘We know we have to reform the legal immigration system. We know we have to deal with the 11 million people that are here illegally, but we are only willing to do that if we can make sure that this never, ever, happens again,’” Mr. Rubio said Tuesday on “Fox and Friends.”
Immigrant rights groups questioned whether Mr. Rubio was trying to scuttle the deal he negotiated with seven other senators — three Republicans and four Democrats — that would give quick legal status to illegal immigrants but withhold the full pathway to citizenship until after some steps are taking on enforcement.
Cristina Jimenez, an official with United We Dream, a group of young illegal immigrants who were granted stays of deportation by President Obama, said Mr. Rubio is “moving the goalposts” on a final immigration bill.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said he will push the bill ahead no matter what, and said it will be up to the GOP to decide whether they want something to pass.
“Ninety percent or more of Democrats are going to vote to move forward on immigration. We want this bill passed. The system’s broken and needs to be fixed,” he said.
Preparing to debate
Republicans already have signaled they won’t filibuster bringing the bill to the floor, which will give Mr. Rubio a chance to offer amendments to try to improve immigration enforcement.
Mr. Rubio said he thought even Democrats would concede they lack the votes to pass the bill, and in fact that’s the case. Late last month, Sen. Robert Menendez, another of the Gang of Eight senators who wrote the bill along with Mr. Rubio, said they lacked enough support right now.
“We don’t currently have 60 votes identified in the Senate,” the New Jersey Democrat told Univision. “We need to add more votes on the floor.”
The bill’s authors had hoped to clear not just the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a filibuster, but to get 70 or more votes, which they hoped would give their bill momentum and convince wavering House lawmakers to take up the issue.
In his interview with Univision, a Spanish-language network, Mr. Menendez called for viewers to lobby their lawmakers to support the bill.
In the two months since senators unveiled their immigration bill, supporters have had momentum on their side, while the opposition had been relegated to a slim but vocal minority. That momentum pushed the bill through the SenateJudiciary Committee on a 13-5 vote, with three Republicans joining all 10 Democrats on the panel in support.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Lois Lerner emails reveal gaping open-records loophole
- Two-thirds of illegal immigrant children approved for asylum: report
- Top Justice official denies conspiring with IRS on tea party targeting
- Boehner: No bill on border surge
- Taking Obama to court a long shot but lawsuit not folly, Congress is told
Latest Blog Entries
- Perdue, Nunn square off in race for Georgia's open Senate seat
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- Alison Lundergan Grimes hits Mitch McConnell over jobs
- Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff locked in dead heat
- Georgia Senate race heats up as Kingston, Perdue ready for runoff
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- House panel OKs resolution to sue president for Obamacare delays
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Astronaut shares 'saddest photo' from space: Bombs bursting over Israel, Gaza
- Doctor, 2 others shot at Pennsylvania hospital: reports
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq