Schumer: Immigration bill will pass by July 4
Not sure about the prognostication skills of New York Senator Chuck Schumer, but the Democrat made what appears to be a guarantee that the immigration reform bill that will be introduced in the Senate this week will pass by July 4.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday predicted the Senate would pass its immigration reform bill by July 4 and said a strong vote for the measure could force House Republicans to embrace the Gang of Eight's bill, despite Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) vow to the contrary.
Schumer said he and the other authors of the proposal hoped to win 70 votes, including nearly a majority of Republicans.
The House is drafting its own series of immigration bills, and Boehner has said the lower chamber would not be "steamrolled" by Democrats. In a joint statement last month, the entire House Republican leadership said the House would not simply "take up and pass" the Senate bill.
Schumer still has his doubts.
"Congressman Boehner is in a box," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "There are about 60 or 70 of his people who are against any immigration reform, but at the same time, he knows that the Republican Party will be consigned to a minority party for a generation if they're anti-immigration."
"So my advice to him is let's see what happens with the Senate bill," Schumer continued. "If we can come out of the Senate with close to a majority of the Republican senators and almost every Democrat, that may change the equation in the House and thinking in the House among mainstream Republicans. And they may want to go for our bill."
The full Senate is expected to begin debating the Gang of Eight measure on June 10.
Immigration reform proponents are already expressing concern that Schumer's drive to pick up 70 votes in the Senate will weaken the bill substantially, making it virtually meaningless. There may be something to that. Clearly, border security will have to be enhanced if more GOP Senators are going to be enticed to vote for the bill. But to reach 70 votes, it is likely that the "Path to citizenship" section of the bill will also have to be altered. This may catch a few more Republicans, but could also cause Democratic support for the bill to fall off.
Schumer is not going to get his 70 votes and he will almost certainly miss his July 4 deadline. There will be about 3 weeks of debate before the Jlu 4 recess begins and given the sheer complexity of the bill, it doesn't seem possible that the Senate could get it done prior to that.