Seung Min Kim, Politico, June 4, 2013
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) doesn’t believe the Gang of Eight immigration bill–which he authored — has enough votes to break a possible filibuster on the Senate floor.
When asked on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday whether the bill has 60 “yes” votes, Rubio replied: “No, and I think even the Democrats would concede that.”
“There’s a few reasons for it, but one of the things we’ve learned over the last few weeks through the open process that happened through the committee process and all the public input that we’ve gotten is how little confidence people have that the federal government will enforce the law,” Rubio continued.
Rubio, considered critical to the success or failure of immigration reform, is mulling a measure that would put Congress – rather than the Department of Homeland Security — in charge of drafting the border control strategy that is tied to the pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the United States.
“We don’t want to be back here in two years, in five years, 10 years dealing with another 5 or 10 million illegal immigrants,” Rubio said. “And so that’s the key. And people don’t trust the Department of Homeland Security to do this job or to come up with a plan that will do the job.”
Fellow Gang member Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) has also said that the bill’s backers did not yet have 60 votes in its favor, but he was optimistic that they would get there. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is confident he has 60 votes to clear the bill.
Reid said recently on a Nevada television show that at most, he’ll lose two or three of his fellow Democrats. Four of the bill’s sponsors are Republicans, and Reid said it would be “pretty easy” to pick up the few additional GOP votes to reach the 60-vote threshold. With Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s (D-N.J.) death Monday, there are now 54 Democratic votes in the Senate.