Sponsors of the “Gang of Eight” Immigration Bill expressed confidence that their legislation can pass the House of Representatives, despite the challenges it will face.
“I believe that by the end of this year, the House will pass the Senate bill,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) on Fox News Sunday. “I know that’s not what they think now and I know they’ll say oh no, that’s not what’s going to happen, but I think it will.”
Schumer cited support of groups, such as the Catholic Church and the business community, who “don’t typically side with Democrats.” Schumer’s comments came during an appearance on Fox News Sunday.
Sen. John McCain (R., Az.) joined Schumer in arguing the bill would pass.
“I’m concerned about the task ahead of us,” McCain told Fox New Sunday. “I respect the House of Representatives. I respect their views, and we have a job ahead of us in convincing them.”
“It’s not going to be easy,” McCain added, “but I think Republicans realize the implications of the future of the Republican Party in America if we don’t get this issue behind us, and by the way we do share the common goal of believing that the de facto amnesty is there, that we need to bring 11 million people out of the shadows.”
Despite the senators’ optimism, members of the House seemed less certain that the bill would even come up for a vote, let alone pass.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told CNN’s State of the Union that Republicans in his committee were not interested in the “Gang of Eight” bill, which he said would “give legal status to 11 million people before it solves all the problems with securing the border, with e-verify, with entry-exit visas … that’s 1986.”
“70% of the Republicans in the Senate voted against the immigration bill,” Goodlatte noted. “Republicans are the majority in the House. We want to work with Democrats, we want to work with Luis [Gutierrez] and others to do a bill, but not the Senate bill.”
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) told FOX News Sunday, “I’m more interested in doing it right than on Senator Schumer’s schedule.”
“The Senate bill is not going to pass the House. It’s not going to pass for a myriad of reasons.” Gowdy reiterated, “The issue is not the broad principles of the immigration reform and humanity and respect for the rule of law. Virtually everyone agrees on the broad principles, where we get ourselves into a little bit of a difference of opinions are the details.”
“Everyone agrees on border security for instance, but I can not sell, in South Carolina, a border security plan where the security comes after the legalization … nor would I try to sell any of those plans,” Gowdy noted.
Rep. Donna Edwards (D., Md.) seemed to agree that the House would be unlikely to bring up the Senate version of the bill.
“We’re not going to bring the Senate bill to the floor,” Edwards told ABC’s This Week, “but it can be a framework for what we move forward in the House”
“I don’t want to predict what’s going to happen,” Edwards said. “I feel really confident, but not overly so, that we can move a bill forward.”
Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said she was “hopeful” the Senate bill would pass.
“I’m very optimistic that we will before too long, and certainly this year, have comprehensive immigration reform,” Pelosi said. “I believe that the members of Congress … will do what is right for our country, and it certainly right for Republicans if they ever want to win a presidential race.”
Goodlatte maintained, “the compromise is going to have to come both in getting a bill out of the House and then going to conference with the Senate to work out the differences.”