Even though the "Gang of 8" senators have reached a deal on border security in their sweeping immigration bill, they still lack the 70 votes needed to approve the legislation, Sen. Chuck Schumer said on Friday.
“We’re not there yet,” the New York Democrat said on the Senate floor, The Hill reports.
“We’re climbing each day, but we’re not there yet. But I think we will get there.”
The legislation, which among other things doubles the length of fencing to 700 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border, was endorsed by two more Republicans, Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and John Hoeven of North Dakota.
The bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators proposed the sweeping reform legislation in April. Republican members of the group include Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — both of whom believe the bill can attract 70 votes.
Still, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that Schumer’s 70-vote goal was unrealistic. The Nevada Democrat said Schumer was the only one who thought it was possible.
“No one, no one [of] 100 senators; no one other than the senator from New York thought we could get 70 votes,” Reid said, according to the Hill. “I doubted he could get 70 votes. He knows I doubted that. No one in this body thought we could get 68, 72 votes except him.”
The Senate will vote next Thursday to end debate on the legislation, with the vote on final passage likely to occur later that day, the Hill reports.
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