Senate May Clear Immigration Bill This Week

Posted August 10, 2010 at 2:50pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is expected to bring the chamber back into session as soon as this week to clear border security legislation, his office said Tuesday.

“In light of the vote in the House, the hope is that we can pass the bill by consent by the end of the week,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley said.

House leaders decided that the $600 million border security bill passed last week by the Senate would violate the Constitution’s requirement that spending bills originate in the House. As a result they passed a new — albeit identical — version of the bill, sending it back to the Senate.

According to Manley, Reid wants to have the bill cleared for the president’s signature by unanimous consent, a procedure that would not require the chamber’s 100 members to return to Washington. Instead, a Senator from a local state — such as Virginia, Maryland or West Virginia — could convene a brief session of the Senate to act on the bill.

But that scenario would need the clearance of all 41 Republicans. Although they did agree to pass the bill last week without a roll-call vote, it was unclear Tuesday whether they would force a full meeting of the Senate to pass the measure.

“It’s up to Republicans to decide if they agree with this strategy. Do they want an issue or do they want us to get it done quickly?” Manley said.