Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulConquering Trump returns to conservative summit Rand Paul rejects label of 'Trump's most loyal stooge' GOP healthcare plans push health savings account expansion MORE (R-Ky.) said on Sunday that his Senate colleagues would have to go through him in order to win support from the House to successfully pass comprehensive immigration reform.
“What they have in the Senate has zero chance of passing in the House,” Paul said on Fox News Sunday. “I’m really trying to make immigration work.”
The libertarian senator has said he wants to bolster border security measures, a rallying cry for many Republicans.
The Senate will begin voting on the bipartisan proposal drafted by the Gang of Eight this week. The plan creates a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country and would tighten border security as well as institute new guest and high-tech worker visa programs.
But many Republicans say the path to citizenship amounts to amnesty and are pushing amendments for tougher border security provisions.
Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioTHE MEMO: Trump takes the fight to Congress Rubio says town halls designed for people to 'heckle and scream' At CPAC, Trump lashes out at media MORE (R-Fla.) who helped draft the bill and a key figure for winning conservative support said last week he would not vote for the legislation without changes to the border security provisions.
Many Republicans agree that comprehensive reform of the immigration system is necessary, with both Paul and Sen. Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonA guide to the committees: Senate Hopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs Dems ask for hearings on Russian attempts to attack election infrastructure MORE (R-Wis.) on Sunday saying they believed Congress could be successful in passing it.
“We have to fix this system because it’s not good for anybody. Hopeful we can pass a bill,” Johnson said in a later segment on the Fox program.
Johnson said he agreed with Paul that changes to border security would need to be made before the Senate version could be sold to House conservatives.
“Doesn’t do anybody any good to only pass it in the Senate,” Johnson said.
Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerHouse markup of ObamaCare repeal bill up in the air Conservatives to Congress: Get moving Boehner: ObamaCare repeal and replace 'not going to happen' MORE (R-Ohio) says the House will not accept the Senate bill, leaving immigration reform advocates hoping for a counterpart bipartisan House deal.
If a bipartisan House bill fails to muster support, GOP leaders have said they would push immigration reform through a series of individual piecemeal bills.