Sen. Lee: It's 70 votes or bust for immigration bill

Supporters of the Senate immigration bill will have suffered a defeat if their legislation garners less than 70 votes, Sen. Mike Lee said Tuesday.

Lee (R-Utah), who opposes the comprehensive reform bill, said he was surprised that members of the Gang of Eight decided to set the bar so high.

"It certainly could help opponents of this particular bill if they fall short of the 70-vote mark," Lee said in an interview with The Blaze Radio Network on Tuesday. "And so yes, that's a reason why it was somewhat odd that they set it at that level."

Members of the Gang believe passing their immigration bill with an overwhelming majority could force the House to take it up, but Lee said he doubts that would be the case.

“They may well be right, if you get 70 votes or more it tends to put some psychological pressure on the House of Representatives to move forward with something like this," Lee said. "But one way or another, I believe this particular bill is dead on arrival in the House of Representatives."

Lee also said he doubts the Senate bill can reach the high watermark that supporters are hoping for.

"And it shouldn't because, look, I'm in favor of immigration reform. We are country of immigrants, we always have been, I hope we always will be. I'm determined to make that happen, but these things have to be done in the proper sequence.

“And thousand page bills have rarely brought us blessings in this country. Thousand page bills usually contain something that's not terribly pleasant. And this bill is no exception. It's built on a series of false promises."