Rubio threatens to vote against immigration bill

Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioPoll: Trump up by 2 points in Florida GOP vulnerables dial back Hillary attacks The Trail 2016: An important lesson in geography MORE (R-Fla.) on Tuesday threatened to vote against the Gang of Eight immigration bill he helped draft unless there are further changes to the legislation.

In an interview with conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, Rubio said more needed to be done to “strengthen the border security parts of this bill so that they’re stronger.”

Asked if he would still back the bill if amendments to tighten border security failed, Rubio said “no.”

“Well, I think if those amendments don’t pass, then I think we’ve got a bill that isn’t going to become law, and I think we’re wasting our time. So the answer is no,” he added.

Rubio is one of eight senators who drafted the bipartisan Senate immigration deal that would provide a pathway for illegal immigrants already in the country, crack down on border security and create a new guest worker program.

But GOP opposition to the citizenship pathway, which many conservatives view as “amnesty,” has placed the Tea Party favorite in a difficult spot. Rubio’s continued support is seen as crucial to helping rally other conservative lawmakers to back the bill.

On Monday, Rubio warned that the bill still did not have the 60 votes needed, contradicting his Gang of Eight colleagues Sens. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerReid: 'I have set the Senate' for nuclear option Immigration was barely covered in the debates GOP leaders advise members to proceed with caution on Trump MORE (D-N.Y.) and John McCainJohn McCainTop Lobbyists 2016: Hired Guns Trump small-donor army a double-edged sword for GOP GOP gets chance to run on ObamaCare MORE (R-Ariz.) who said they hoped to win 70 votes, and Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidWarren’s power on the rise Nevada's Heck won't say who he's backing for president GOP groups ride to rescue in 3 key Senate races MORE (D-Nev.) who said he believed he had the numbers to pass the bill.

Schumer on Sunday said that passing the bill with a commanding majority in the upper chamber could pressure GOP leaders in the House to take up the Senate bill.

A bipartisan House group is also working on its own proposal, but immigration reform faces a tougher fight amid opposition from many GOP lawmakers. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteBob GoodlatteThe hidden controversy over online shopping Report: Investor visa program mainly funds wealthy areas FTC proposes reforms to crack down on patent trolls MORE (R-Va.) has also said he will consider immigration reform on a piecemeal basis, leading to concerns from reform advocates that legislation will falter in the House.