Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has lashed out at conservative House Republicans, calling them "crazies," for their resistance to immigration reform.
He claimed Speaker John Boehner has been forced to change his position on whether to take the measure to the floor because of right-wing pressure.
"The speaker has said within a period of a little over 24 hours, 'We're going to pass immigration but we're going to have Democratic votes to do it.' As soon as his crazies heard that, I guess they talked to him and next day he comes back and said: 'I will only pass it if I have the majority of the majority,'" Reid told reporters.
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"The point is: I'm not sure he or anyone else in the Republican leadership in the House really knows what they're doing," Reid added.
Monday's vote to proceed on an amendment to add 20,000 Border Patrol agents to the Mexican border passed 67-27
, making it likely that the immigration bill would pass in the Senate by a similarly large majority in a vote expected later this week.
House conservatives have been encouraging Boehner not to bring a bill to the floor without the majority of the House Republican Conference's support.
"House Republicans support immigration reform, but will not simply rubber-stamp a Senate-passed bill," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told Politico
. "We'll pass legislation through regular order that reflects our priorities and the people we represent,
including effective border security and interior enforcement."
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