Schumer meeting with GOP to gauge support for immigration bill

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he's meeting with Republican colleagues to gauge support for his immigration reform bill.

Schumer, who's spearheaded efforts for an immigration bill in the Senate, said he believes a centrist immigration bill could make its way through the chamber.

"I am meeting with Republicans right now to try to still come up with a bipartisan bill that can pass," Schumer said at the tail end of a press conference Thursday to announce campaign finance legislation.

Schumer had been working with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on a bipartisan immigration bill, though Graham has since said that the immigration reform effort should be shelved for now in favor of other priorities, like an energy and climate bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday that he'll push forward with an energy bill before immigration, reversing a stance from earlier in the week. Reid said, though, that Schumer was in the process of crafting an outline of his bill.

Immigration has become increasingly salient in Congress following a tough, new Arizona law that is meant to crack down on illegal immigrants. Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) have also demanded that Democrats and President Barack Obama push for immigration reform this year.

"I believe that we can and should do down the middle immigration reform," said Schumer, expressing optimism about his ability to win support.

All eyes are on the Senate when it comes to an immigration bill since House leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), have said the Senate must act first on immigration.