by Chris Musillo
The next steps on Comprehensive Immigration Reform are taking shape. Whether it can be accomplished by the end of the summer is still an open question. If CIR fails it will be because it is enormously difficult to get 435 House Representatives and 100 Senators to agree anything.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D- NV) says that a full Senate vote on CIR (S. 744) is expected to come before the July 4th Congressional recess.
S. 744 will need 60 votes to survive a filibuster. The odds are better than even that S. 744's proponents can get the 60 votes. S. 744 stalwart Sen. Rubio seems to be wavering but this may be politics on his part. While sixty votes would be a victory, sixty-five or seventy would be better. It would signal broad bipartisan support for S. 744 specifically and CIR generally.
Once S. 744 is passed all eyes will be on the House. The House had its own Gang of Eight crafting its own CIR bill. This Gang of Eight has been downsized to a Magnificent Seven, with Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) leaving the posse. While Rep. Labrador's abdication was not welcome news, the fact that the rest of the Republicans have decided to stay on the job implies that there is still a desire to get a House bill completed this summer.
Before we can get to the House though it will remain to be seen just how many votes S. 744 can obtain in the Senate. We should know the answer to this -- and to be better able to handicap the viability of CIR -- by the July 4 Congressional recess.
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