House Speaker John Boehner says he wants a vote on an immigration reform bill before Congress breaks for its monthlong summer recess in August.
The Ohio Republican has kept quiet about his plans for moving the legislation, but apparently has been working behind the scenes to have it finalized by July 4 and ready to be debated either in pieces or as a whole bipartisan piece of legislation.
Despite the fact that no decisions have been made about how the House version will advance, Boehner's willingness to set the stage for a vote before the August recess is being seen as a positive development for reform supporters.
Some House Republican leaders would prefer to move immigration reform in parts, rather than as one large bill. But Boehner, Politico reported
, apparently will wait to see how the House bipartisan negotiators' proposal is received by GOP rank and file before he decides how to proceed.
The Senate, for its part, is pushing to complete work on its own immigration overhaul measure and put it to a vote before July 4. According to Politico, those efforts got a boost in that chamber over the weekend when Sen. Kelly Ayotte declared her intention to support the bipartisan legislation hammered out by the so-called "Gang of Eight" senators.
"Our immigration system is completely broken," the New Hampshire Republican said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation."
Although Ayotte still has problems with some elements of the bill, she called it "a thoughtful, bipartisan solution to a tough problem."
Ayotte is the sixth Republican senator to voice her support for the Senate bill. She wants some amendments aimed at tightening border security, but she described the measure's plan to create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, which has been decried by some conservatives, as "tough but fair."
"We need to stop the flow of illegal immigrants," Ayotte said. "And we need to bring undocumented people out of the shadows to separate those seeking economic opportunity from those seeking to harm us."
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