While the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill’s future hangs in limbo in the face of various hurdles that have popped up recently, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is confident that if it passes the Senate, Democrats will gear up their political machine to ram the legislation through the House.
Rubio’s comments came during a Wednesday meeting with House conservatives from the Republican Study Coalition (RSC). Rubio’s fellow Gang of Eight member Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) joined the meeting, as did Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Mike Lee (R-UT). Those four are adamantly opposed to the Gang of Eight bill, though they do support real immigration reform.
An aide in the room told Breitbart News that Rubio said “that once the Senate passed it,” the Democrats “would pounce on the House to take it up.”
“It was an oddly candid admission,” the aide said of Rubio’s remarks.
When asked if Rubio defended the bill in the RSC meeting, the aide said “not much at all.”
That aide added that Flake did not say “much” at the meeting, “just defended the bill and purpose behind it.”
Rubio’s tepidity towards the bill during the RSC meeting comes as a high-ranking Senate aide told Breitbart News he and his staff are looking to abandon the Gang of Eight using other Republican offices. Rubio’s spokesman Alex Conant has still not returned request for comment on that revelation.
Meanwhile, on the House side, ABC News reports immigration talks there have collapsed because Democrats are insisting illegal immigrants be given access to Obamacare.
Nonetheless, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not walked back his promise to begin floor action on the bill in the Senate next week. Even so, Sens. Rubio and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) both say the group does not have the support of at least 60 senators, the bare minimum needed to pass the bill.
To make matters more complicated, Rubio has promised he will not vote for the bill as it currently is written without additional measures to strengthen border security elements.