Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, on Sunday said he was optimistic that enough House Republicans will support immigration reform to pass legislation in 2014.
“I think that it’s likely we will get immigration reform this year,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “There are large parts of the Republican Party, even conservative parts of the Republican Party, that want this — business, Evangelical churches, the Catholic Church, high tech, growers. So it’s not like some of the budget issues where all of the Republicans are on one side.”
Schumer said that the politics in the House GOP have shifted to make way for comprehensive reform.
“The Republican leadership realizes that if we don’t do immigration and get immigration reform done, it hurts them politically,” he said. “It made a difference in them not taking back the Senate in 2012. And it made a difference in the Obama election in 2012. And I think it’s hit home in a much harder way now.”
Schumer said that House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) criticism of outside conservative groups’ stance opposing the budget deal indicated that he is willing to push for legislation that the majority of Republicans support.
“Speaker Boehner said he is not going to let the minority of his caucus, Tea Party minority, run the show,” Schumer said. “They’re the people who have been opposed to immigration reform. Many of the mainstream conservatives, just like in the Senate, are for it.”