Democrats and Republicans are lining up behind an immigration overhaul.
But the Senate has not yet taken up the measure, and President Donald Trump’s administration has signaled it will push for a more sweeping overhaul.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that Democrats are working on a bipartisan immigration package.
But the White House and congressional Republicans have yet to finalize their plans, leaving McConnell in a quandary about how to proceed.
“The president said last week he would be open to a comprehensive immigration bill,” McConnell told reporters at a press conference in Washington.
“That was before we started working on this.”
“The administration is continuing to negotiate with us on how to get that bill to the floor.
That’s going to take time,” McConnell added.
The Senate is expected to vote on a comprehensive bill on Wednesday, though the process will likely be slow and potentially more complex than the one the House passed in March.
In an interview with The Associated Press last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer called the current status of the border crisis a “bipartisan mess.”
He said lawmakers should move forward on a legislative package that includes funding for border enforcement and immigration enforcement.
“I think we can agree that the president is open to an immigration reform package that is bipartisan, that includes some border enforcement,” Spicer said.
Trump has vowed to make a “big announcement” on the border during his first 100 days in office, and the White to be expected to use the occasion to push for immigration reform.
But a House Republican aide told The Hill that McConnell will be pressured to move ahead with legislation before the end of the year, in part because the Senate is unable to pass legislation this year.
McConnell said he is hopeful that lawmakers will be able to move forward with a bipartisan bill, though he acknowledged that he would need more support from Democrats.
“Democrats, Republicans, Independents and the American people all need to come together on this,” McConnell said Tuesday.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do until we have a bipartisan effort to address the border.”
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