Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY) signaled on Thursday that he could consider voting for an amnesty bill being pushed by Speaker Paul Ryan and White House legislative director Marc Short.
Speaker Ryan announced on Tuesday that he will put the President Donald Trump-endorsed Goodlatte immigration bill, as well as an amnesty-based bill supported by pro-business Republicans and pro-migration Democrats, on the floor for a vote.
Experts told Breitbart News that the bill could serve as the “biggest” amnesty for illegal aliens in American history. NumbersUSA Governmental Affairs Director Rosemary Jenks suggested that the bill could provide amnesty to at least 1.8 million illegal aliens.
McConnell (R-KY) said on Thursday that if the House manages to pass an immigration bill, the Senate could put the bill up to a vote.
“If the House passes something the president would sign, I’ll take a look at it,” McConnell said.
McConnell said immigration was “not on the agenda in the Senate,” before Ryan started pushing for the amnesty bill. However, McConnell said in the past few months that he would only consider the legislation if Trump endorsed the bill.
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), one of the leading advocates of the amnesty measure, said that he continues to speak with Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) about passing an immigration bill in the Senate.
Gardner said, “We’ll see what happens in the House. I have to take a look at what eventually emerges, and then see where the support lies or doesn’t lie in the Senate.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (R-IL), meanwhile, shortly replied, “no” when asked if he thought that any Senate Democrats would support Ryan’s amnesty legislation. Republicans hold a slim majority in the Senate and would need at least nine Senate Democrats to help pass any amnesty legislation.
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), another member pushing for amnesty, said that ideally he would like to pass Ryan’s bill through the House and make sufficient changes that could garner enough Democrats to support the bill and pass through the Senate, and then have the House and the Senate work through the differences in a conference committee.
The conservative House Freedom Caucus has yet to take an official position on the amnesty bill. However, other conservatives such as Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told Breitbart News Daily that multiple lawmakers continue to consider a motion to vacate the chair to replace Paul Ryan with a Speaker who will fight for a pro-American immigration bill.
King said, “I also got information that there are, I’ll say, members—and I say that plurally with knowledge—who are considering introducing a motion to vacate the chair.”
The Iowa Republican added, “If they do that, that would throw this place into a tizzy and force the kind of election for a Speaker that may bring out someone who is a lot stronger on [amnesty].”