(HUFFINGTON POST) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) predicted on Tuesday a relatively easy path to passage for the bipartisan “gang of eight” immigration bill, saying he thinks he can get eight Republican votes and nearly all Democratic members.
“I talked about this to a number of my senators today, and what he wanted to say is they haven’t done a whip count on this yet,” Reid said in a taping for “To the Point,”according to the Las Vegas Sun. “I think we have 60 votes. Remember, we start out at 55 Democrats. I think the most I’ll lose is two or three. Let’s say I wind up with 52 Democrats. I only need eight Republicans, and I already have four, so that should be pretty easy.”
The bill must cross a 60-vote threshold to avoid a filibuster, but not everyone is convinced the bill is there yet. Reid’s comments were in contrast to ones made last week by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), a member of the gang of eight. There are four Republicans — Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) — in the group who also support the bill; Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) voted for it in the Judiciary Committee, although he has not yet said whether he will support its passage on the Senate floor.