Menendez: Immigration Bill Needs More Senate Backers

Image: Menendez: Immigration Bill Needs More Senate Backers

Saturday, 25 May 2013 08:38 AM

By Todd Beamon

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Sen. Robert Menendez said that the sweeping immigration reform bill proposed by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” currently lacks the votes needed to end a potential filibuster on the Senate floor.

“We don’t currently have 60 votes identified in the Senate,” the New Jersey Democrat told Univision-TV’s “Al Punto” program with Jorge Ramos. The interview is to be aired on Sunday. “We need to add more votes on the floor.

“That means that the community in your state, in every state, should be contacting your state’s two U.S. senators saying that they want comprehensive immigration reform, that they are going to judge their political future based on this vote,” Menendez said, Politico reports.

While Democrats hold 55 Senate votes, the Gang of Eight has four GOP members, including Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Marco Rubio of Florida.

Not all the Democratic votes, however, are assured. Senators from more conservative states may not support the bill, Politico reports.

GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah backed the legislation in a 13-5 endorsement by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, but he said that four amendments he proposed regarding tax and benefit provisions would have to be incorporated for him to support it on the Senate floor.

But Menendez remains hopeful that the legislation will gain more support during the floor debate, scheduled for next month.

“We are expecting that and working for that,” Menendez told Univision, Politico reports.

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