Senate "Gang" Members Confident of House Action
Two members of the Senate gang of 8 discussed prospects for House passage of comprehensive immigration reform.
Supporters were hopeful that a strong vote in the Senate would pressure the House to act on their bill.
However House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has said repeatedly he will not simply act on the Senate bill, but instead let the House set its own course.
Boehner has also said he does not want to bring a bill to the House floor that does not have majority Republican support, an unwritten rule referred to as the Hastert Rule.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said he is "concerned about the task ahead of us," and while he hopes they can convince House Republicans to act on the comprehensive legislation, he admitted, "we’ve got a lot of work to do."
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was certain of House cooperation.
"I believe by the end of this year the House will pass the Senate bill," Schumer predicted confidently.
"They fear Republican primaries from right if they vote yes," Schumer said by way of explanation, but he added he thinks the "dynamic will change."
Schumer also said House Republicans will not be successful with their preferred approach of passing the issues separately.
"I don’t think the Speaker can pass a piecemeal bill," Schumer said.
McCain said that Congress will sooner or later respond to public opinion, and the pressure that comes with presidential elections.
"I think Republicans realize the implications if we don’t get this issue behind us," McCain said.