“It is very important that it not be made political fodder,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein said. The California Democrat added that the bill is not a new concept and has been expanded several times in the past.
“We all thought it was a no-brainer to extend it to everybody,” she said, adding that it was a “big surprise” to her in the Judiciary Committee when the Republicans voted against it.
Presuming the bill gets through the Senate, it faces a more difficult road in the House.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.