Senate May Not Finish Immigration Bill This Week, Lawmakers Say
(Bloomberg) -- Senators from both parties said Wednesday they doubt the chamber can complete work on immigration legislation this week as Republican and Democratic leaders have planned.
“It’s going to take a while,” said Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, adding that he doesn’t envision finishing work this week. “This is a complicated thing. Isn’t this what people want, to have a Senate that works and comes up with ideas and has a debate? It’s the way the system is designed.”
Senator Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, said lawmakers need another week. “We should work as diligently as we possibly can today to get a consensus about going forward,” he siad.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky had said he wants to wrap up immigration legislation this week even as senators working on bipartisan compromises say none of the proposals offered so far has enough votes to pass. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York also supported completing work this week.
Democrats don’t want to support the cuts to legal immigration that President Donald Trump is demanding in exchange for protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation. The White House and its Republican allies insist on limiting family-based immigration to spouses and minor children, a proposal Democrats reject.
A bipartisan group of senators is meeting Wednesday morning in an effort to come up with a plan that can get enough votes to pass the Senate.
The Senate also voted Wednesday to open the debate on immigration legislation. Party leaders haven’t been able to agree on which proposals they’ll consider first.
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