House Dem. Leader: 'Votes Exist' in House for Pathway to Citizenship
On Wednesday, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said there were enough votes in the House of Representatives for an immigration bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship or legalization for all of the country's illegal immigrants.
Becerra and other Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) introduced comprehensive immigration reform legislation that essentially mirrored the one that passed earlier this year in the Senate at a press conference. Becerra said, "we know that today the votes exist in the House of Representatives" for a bill that provides "a path to legal residency and ultimately to citizenship" for the country's illegal immigrants.
The bill introduced by Democrats will not go anywhere in a chamber they do not control, but Becerra said it is one that has been "proven to get bipartisan votes in the Senate and the House."
"The time is now to pass comprehensive immigration reform," Becerra said. "We're ready to move."
House Republicans have reportedly been working "beneath the radar" on immigration reform and have indicated that immigration would be the next agenda item they will take up after the budget and debt-ceiling negotiations. If the House and Senate end up in conference to reconcile their differences on immigration, the final bill may have a provision for a pathway to citizenship.
Should that occur, there may be enough Republicans willing to join with Democrats to vote for such a bill.