According to Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the so-called Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill does not have enough votes at this point to pass the Senate.
Even though the bill has exited the Senate Judiciary Committee with a 13-5 vote, Menendez says that it will not receive 60 votes thanks to Republican opposition. “We don’t currently have 60 votes identified in the Senate,” Menendez told Univision. “We need to add more votes on the floor. That means that the community in your state, in every state, should be contacting your state’s two US Senators saying that they want comprehensive immigration reform, that they are going to judge their political future based on this vote.”
Several Republican senators have expressed support for debating the bill, but do not support the bill itself yet, including Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Menendez does believe that by the time of the Senate vote, which he said will take place just after July 4, the votes will be there. “I believe that in those three weeks we can get the necessary votes and we will have the community. We are expecting that and working for that.”
The goal, said Menendez, would be to pressure the House of Representatives to pass a version of the bill by creating widespread Senate support. “We want to push this bill forward with the most positive votes we can find, more than sixty, the sixty we need to be able to pass it here in the Senate, so we can put pressure on the House,” he explained. “Speaker Boehner, will have to decide how he will proceed.”
Menendez’s statements on Univision are no coincidence – the Democrats’ plan for 2014 is largely built on the notion that by creating bipartisan support for immigration reform in the Senate, then forcing the House to stop a soft-on-border-security bill, they will be able to generate public support for taking the House back for President Obama.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).