Four Democratic senators facing tough reelection fights voted in favor of the immigration reform measure on Thursday afternoon, opening themselves up to likely attacks from conservatives heading into 2014 and beyond.
Sen. Al FrankenAl FrankenDon’t let Congress legislate science The Hill's 12:30 Report Clinton’s 9 most likely VP picks MORE (D-Minn.), who is also up for reelection but considered less vulnerable, also voted for the bill. No Democrats voted against the legislation.
A handful of Republicans in blue and swing states — some of who could see primary challenges — voted for passage.
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamOvernight Defense: US blames ISIS for Turkey attack | Afghan visas in spending bill | Army rolls up its sleeves Senate panel passes bill that would create 4K visas for Afghans Trump: Rivals who don't back me shouldn't be allowed to run for office MORE (S.C.), up for reelection in 2014, voted for the bill.
He has long faced criticism from conservatives for his record, though no primary challenger has yet emerged, and he's long been an outspoken supporter of reform.
Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteClean energy group backs two GOP incumbents Senator calls for pause in accepting Syrian refugees after Istanbul attack GOP Senate super-PAC reserves M in airtime MORE (N.H.), Marco RubioMarco RubioPoll: Rubio holds massive lead in primary Rubio: Turkey attack 'directed' by ISIS Trump: Rivals who don't back me shouldn't be allowed to run for office MORE (Fla.) aren't up for reelection until 2016, but their support for the reform measure is already causing consternation among conservatives.
Most notably, Tea Party leader Sarah Palin suggested the two should face primary challenges.
And Rubio, who is seen as a probable 2016 contender, has seen his poll numbers drop in the past month, as debate over the bill intensified.
Critics say his role in crafting and selling the measure to the public could hurt him with Republican primary voters and jeopardize his presidential aspirations.
Also up for reelection in 2016 is Sen. Mark KirkMark KirkSenate panel approves 0M for international climate fund Senator calls for pause in accepting Syrian refugees after Istanbul attack Overnight Healthcare: Blame game over Zika funding MORE (R-Ill.), whose vote for the bill could help him appeal to centrist voters in his blue state.
Sen. Dean HellerDean HellerGun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA Long past time to fix evidence-sharing across borders Obama's great internet giveaway MORE (R-Nev.), up in 2018 in a swing state, will also need to appeal to that voting bloc.
GOP debate over the bill has highlighted a split within the party on reform. Conservatives generally oppose what they say is a temporary stop-gap measure that does little to solve the problem and offers inadequate border security provisions.
The no-votes from National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry MoranJerry MoranSenate panel approves lifting Cuba travel ban Boost in Afghan visas blocked in Senate Senate contradicts itself on Gitmo MORE (Kans.) and his NRSC deputies, Sens. Rob PortmanRob PortmanClean energy group backs two GOP incumbents Overnight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Overnight Energy: Volkswagen reaches .7B settlement over emissions MORE (Ohio) and Ted CruzTed CruzMike Lee: Trump 'accused my best friend’s father of conspiring to kill JFK' Trump: Rivals who don't back me shouldn't be allowed to run for office Kasich touts poll showing he does better against Clinton than Trump MORE (Texas), underscore what a politically perilous issue immigration may be for some Republicans going forward.
In the House, a large contingent of far-right members have pledged to oppose the Senate measure.