Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that he will not block efforts to bring the immigration bill by the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" to the Senate floor.
"With regard to getting started on the bill, it's my intention if there is a motion to proceed required, to vote for the motion to proceed so we can get on the bill and see if it we're able to pass a bill that actually moves the ball in the right direction," the Kentucky Republican told reporters.
McConnell's decision comes despite requests from some conservative legislators to reject all procedural votes on the bill, Politico reports
He also commended the group, which includes Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.
"The Gang of Eight has made a substantial contribution in moving the issue forward," McConnell said. "So far, I’m told that the Judiciary Committee hasn’t in any fundamental way undone the agreements that were agreed by the eight senators. So I'm hopeful we can get a bill that we can pass here in the Senate."
The bill came under fire on Tuesday from tea party organizations and other conservatives. They labeled it so "defective" that senators needed to reject it outright, Politico reports.
The letter had nearly 150 signers, including former GOP Rep. Allen West of Florida; Phyllis Schlafly, president and founder of the Eagle Forum; and Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots.
The coalition urged senators to reject any procedural votes that would be required for the Senate to begin working on the bill on the floor.
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