The Senate is about to put its months of work on the immigration reform to the test. An assured Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told NBC's David Gregory on Meet The Press Sunday that he is confident in the 113th Congress passing immigration reform.
He was bold enough to say that he expects the Gang of Eight's immigration reform bill will pass the Senate by July 4 with 70 votes.
That would mean every almost every Democrat and at least 15 Republicans will vote for the Gang of Eight's proposed overhaul according to Schumer.
This comes a week after Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) shared his skepticism of the bill garnering even 60 votes in the Senate and called on Hispanic voters to reach out to their Senators. It is vital for the bill to at least have 60 votes to avoid procedural blocks in the Senate. Sen. Schumer's confident proclamation could be a result of increased lobbying in the last week by constituents and Senators alike. Or, it could be a preemptive hedging of doubt against the bill.
Sen. Schumer also issued a threat to the House if they chose to block the bill. Gregory quoted Speaker Boehner's (R-Ohio) top aide on what to expect with the bill in the House: "If the Senators think they can get a lot of Republican votes in the Senate, and that's automatically going to transfer to getting it passed in the House, then they're wrong. It's going to be a long slog in the House as well."
House Republicans have been repeatedly threatening against the Gang of Eight's bill. The most recent threat came from Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) who issued a joint statement outright saying they will not accept the bill as it emerges out of the Senate a week ago.
Apparently, seven in ten registered voters also feel that the House and Senate will fail to work together to pass the bill.
Sen. Schumer had one simple warning for Speaker Boehner and House Republicans: "If they go too far, they will lose." He emphasized that the recent spate of scandals is not going to deter the Senate from pushing for this bill. He cautioned that the Republicans will be inviting a repeat of 1998 when the House Republicans were focused on impeaching President Bill Clinton and ended up losing seats in the House.
Sen. Schumer said he would welcome amendments to the bill if they don't change the fundamentals of the bill. The dilution of the bill has already caused quite a lot of ire from immigration rights organizations. This infographic shows what other aspects could be up for compromise for the passage of the bill:
For now, let's see if Sen. Schumer's claim stands. He said the bill will be introduced on the Senate floor as early as June 10.