BY STEPHANIE CONDON
A comprehensive immigration reform bill passed with strong support in the Senate on Thursday, bringing Washington one step closer to accomplishing a major milestone that both Democrats and Republicans have long sought.
Now, however, the bill goes to the House, where, at best, it faces significant headwinds.
The measure passed 68 to 32, with Vice President Joe Biden presiding over the Senate chamber and the senators all casting their votes from their desks. Senators are rarely seated at their desks for votes — the largely symbolic move is typically reserved for confirming Supreme Court nominees or major votes, such as the 2010 Affordable Care Act vote or the 2011 resolution commending troops and the intelligence community for the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Fourteen Republicans joined 52 Democrats and two Independents in voting for the bill, including Sen. Jeffrey Chiesa, R-N.J., the Republican who was appointed to his seat this month after the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. No Democrats voted against the bill.
After the legislation passed, President Obama released a statement commending the Senate and urging the public to lobby the House to pass some version of the bill.
“As this process moves forward, I urge everyone who cares about this issue to keep a watchful eye,” he said. “Now is the time when opponents will try their hardest to pull this bipartisan effort apart so they can stop commonsense reform from becoming a reality. We cannot let that happen.”
- Senate passes immigration bill in historic vote (nbclatino.com)
- Senate passes immigration reform bill (politico.com)
- Senate approves Gang of Eight’s historic immigration reform bill (voxxi.com)
- US immigration overhaul: Senate passes reform bill (adithyaentertainment.wordpress.com)
- More: 32 Republican senators voted against immigration reform bill, which now goes to the House – @thehill (thehill.com)
- US Senate passes immigration reforms (bigpondnews.com)
- Immigration reform bill passes Senate, moves to skeptical House – Yahoo! News (coralvillecourier.typepad.com)
- Senate passes sweeping immigration overhaul (firstread.nbcnews.com)
- In Historic Vote, Senate Passes Bipartisan Immigration Bill (swampland.time.com)