Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezPoll: Menendez has 17-point lead over GOP challenger Russian attacks on America require bipartisan response from Congress Justice Dept intends to re-try Menendez in corruption case MORE (R-N.J.) expressed confidence Sunday that the Senate’s immigration bill will pass with a strong majority once it becomes clear that it will reach the needed 60 votes.

“When we hit 60 votes, which we will, I have no doubt that other people . . . will want to be on the right side of history, and that will send a very strong message to the House,” said Menendez on the CNN program “State of the Union.”

Menendez is a member of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” that authored the Senate’s immigration bill, which lawmakers are currently debating on the Senate floor.

The total number of votes the Senate bill garners is considered key to the prospects of House action on immigration – a strong bipartisan majority in the Senate would boost political pressure on the House to act.

The bill creates a pathway to citizenship for the nation's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants and would enact tougher border security measures as well as new visa programs for guest and high-tech workers.