Harry Reid: We Have The Votes To Pass Immigration Reform
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he believes that he has the votes to pass immigration reform in the Senate:
In the wide ranging, 30-minute interview, Reid also disputed a recent claim by Sen. Bob Menendez that the Senate does not have 60 votes to pass the Gang of 8’s immigration reform bill, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.
“I talked about this to a number of my senators today, and what he wanted to say is they haven’t done a whip count on this yet,” Reid said. “I think we have 60 votes. Remember, we start out at 55 Democrats. I think the most I’ll lose is two or three. Let’s say I wind up with 52 Democrats. I only need eight Republicans, and I already have four, so that should be pretty easy.”
Reid’s optimism may seem like a case of counting your votes before their cast, but it’s always been the case that the Senate was likely to be friendly ground immigration reform, even on the Republican side. Thanks in no small part to the active involvement of Marco Rubio in the process, much of the conservative argument against the bill. Even Rand Paul, who has been critical of the Senate bill in some respects, has said recently that he may end up voting for it after all. The real question is what happens in the House of Representatives, and there the fate of reform is far from certain and it’s unclear that the House leadership is really committed to guiding the bill through to passage.