New Jersey Democratic Rep. Rob Andrews told PJ Media that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should send the immigration bill that passed last month to the House for consideration.
“I think that he should and I think if he does that, that the speaker should let the majority work its will – put the bill on the floor, make an order of certain amendments – if people want to pass them they can; if they can’t, they can’t,” Andrews, the co-chairman of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, said on Capitol Hill before lawmakers left for recess.
“But I think a majority of this country and a majority of this Congress is clearly for this bill. It will do the country a lot of good and I think the speaker should let us vote on it.”
Reid has not forwarded the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, which passed the Senate on June 27, to the House.
The legislation includes a pathway to citizenship for the millions of immigrants illegally residing in the U.S.
House Speaker John Boehner has said the House would not take up the Senate-passed bill but instead work on its own step-by-step approach to immigration reform.
“I’ve made it clear and I’ll make it clear again, the House does not intend to take up the Senate bill,” Boehner said on July 8. “The House is going to do its own job in developing an immigration bill.”
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is working on an immigration reform compromise.
The Republican members involved in the negotiations are Reps. John Carter of Texas, Sam Johnson of Texas and Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida. The Democrats are Reps. Zoe Lofgren of California, Xavier Becerra of California, Luis Gutierrez of Illinois and John Yarmuth of Kentucky.
“We had an agreement once. And then, unfortunately, and I think it’s coming from the Democratic leadership and not from the group that I’m negotiating with, a deal that we had already agreed on and, again, I think it’s coming from Nancy Pelosi, we had to reopen the deal,” Diaz-Balart said in June.
“We had a second deal what was announced to the press, where we all announced, the bipartisan group, that we had reached an agreement in principle. On a second occasion, we had to reopen the same issue that had already been reached, where we had already reached an agreement on a second time. And, again, I think the problem that we’re running into is — is Nancy Pelosi. I’m not quite sure if she wants a bill.”
Andrews said he is not familiar with status of the House negotiations but predicted that the Senate immigration bill would pass in the Republican-controlled House.
“I don’t know about the bipartisan group, what they did, but I think the House leadership, Republican leadership, will and should put the Senate bill on the floor and let it pass,” Andrews said.
“I think if the Senate bill came up this afternoon, it would get a clear majority of the House, about 245 votes, and I believe the speaker should let the House work its will and put the Senate bill on the floor, let it be amended but let it pass.”