Graham and other senators in the “gang of eight” say the immigration plan will be budget-neutral, using fees to pay for new spending.
“It’s not just about the eight of us, if we can’t sell it to a majority of our conferences, then maybe it’s a product not worthy of having been passed,” Graham said. He was making the point that an ideal product would have broad support from Democratic and Republican conferences in the Senate, rather than being the sort of bill that just barely clears the 60-vote hurdle needed to break an expected filibuster. The Republican members made a pitch to members of their conference Monday evening, drawing encouraging words from McConnell and others.
8. And Then ... There’s the House
Suppose the Senate ultimately passes an immigration bill with somewhere around 60 votes. As with the gun legislation, the GOP-led House might have little incentive to take up anything similar to the Senate bill. House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., has signaled he may move immigration legislation via a piece-by-piece approach, rather than an all-encompassing measure favored by the Senate group.
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.