McCain 'cautiously optimistic' House would follow Senate on immigration

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is "cautiously optimistic" that if President Obama and the Senate can agree on an immigration reform plan, legislators in the House will follow suit.

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McCain, in an interview with Univision set to air on Sunday, was asked what would happen if House Republicans voted against immigration reform.

"Well, I hate to obviously predict what might happen," McCain, a member of a bipartisan group of senators in the Senate that unveiled a framework for passing immigration reform, said.

McCain added that he is "cautiously optimistic that with the President and the Senate basically acting together that that would be sufficient to have the House, to agree with that, if it’s reasonable with the majority of the American people."

But McCain cautioned that the consequences of the House rejecting an immigration-reform plan are hard to imagine.

"So it’s hard for me to predict," McCain continued. "But I think you, I know what you’re referring to, and that is the election results with a smaller number of our Hispanic/Latino citizens that are voting for Republicans. We understand that."

Both Republicans and Democrats have expressed interest in passing immigration reform. A major sticking points in negotiations so far, however, has been whether to include a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally. The immigration framework crafted by McCain and seven other senators includes a pathway to citizenship as long as border security is first strengthened.

McCain said he is not sure whether there will be enough votes in the Senate to pass a reform plan that includes a pathway to citizenship.

"You know, I don’t know yet, because we haven’t finished the package. I know that the attitude of the American people is that," McCain said. "And I think that there’s a realization on my side of the aisle that we need to have this resolved. And that people should have a pathway to citizenship. But look, I’ve lost before and so for me to predict would be premature. But I do think that the attitude overall of the American people and members of the Senate is significantly improved to the point where I am cautiously optimistic."

Also on Friday, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) said a secretive bipartisan group of House members is close to unveiling an immigration reform agreement. Becerra has reportedly participated in the group’s negotiations.

"The reality is that we are on the cusp of actually having an opportunity to put forward a bipartisan proposal in the House of Representatives," Becerra said.

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