Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the House would welcome an immigration reform bill from the Senate this year and believes she could get enough votes to pass such an overhaul.
When the Senate is ready with an immigration bill, we dont want anybody holding up for any reason, she told reporters Thursday at her weekly press conference. We would welcome it to the House.
Pelosi met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) earlier this week and agreed that a moral imperative exists to move forward with a bill, even if it means scrapping energy legislation until the next Congress, aides said. Pelosi views a comprehensive effort to tackle climate change as the flagship issue of her speakership a point that she made to reporters Thursday. But Reid appears to favor moving immigration first, and Pelosi, in her meeting with him, didnt object.
Whether the Senate can actually muster the support for such an immigration bill a politically treacherous undertaking at any time, much less the summer before lawmakers face voters soured on Washington, D.C., in the midterm elections is a separate question.
And while Pelosi said she could find the votes for the bill in the House if it passed the Senate, others in her ranks disagree. I cant imagine they could come up with the votes, said Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), who added that he is strongly opposed.
Kate Hunter and John Stanton contributed to this report.
United We Dream protesters carry a mock coffin to the office of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Monday, July 21, 2014, to hold one of their "funeral services for the Republican Party" due to GOP positions on immigration. The immigration reform group visited several other Senate Republican offices to hold similar funeral services.