Reid Reiterates Promise to Pass Immigration Reform This Year

Posted April 15, 2010 at 2:59pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday that he remains committed to passing comprehensive immigration reform this year, either before the November elections or afterward during an all-but-certain lame-duck session.

“If we can’t get it done before the election, we’ll get it done” during the lame-duck session, Reid said.

Reid refused, however, to say when exactly he would move the controversial legislation, telling reporters that “I don’t go for these arbitrary deadlines” and that once a bill is ready, he will bring it to the floor.

Reid said he’s still hopeful that Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) can work out a bipartisan deal on reform. However, when asked whether Democrats would move a partisan proposal if Republicans don’t fall in line, Reid said “yes.”

Reid, who is facing a tough re-election this fall in a state with a sizable Hispanic legislation, also lashed out at the media for reports that he has given seemingly inconsistent statements about the timing of immigration reform. “There’s no confusion in my mind,” Reid said, complaining that the suggestion is “inane, wrong and unfair.”

For more than a year, Reid has listed immigration reform as one of his top priorities.

Speaking at a rally of immigration reform activists on Saturday, Reid vowed to take the issue up immediately after the spring recess.

“We’re going to come back, we’re going to have comprehensive immigration reform now,” Reid told the crowd.

However, during his weekly Tuesday press conference, Reid acknowledged that the packed legislative schedule for the next six weeks makes it extremely unlikely the Senate will take the issue up in the near term.

“We won’t get to immigration reform this work period,” he said.