By Ramsey Cox
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that he would file cloture on the immigration reform bill by the beginning of next week.
“We’re going to either file cloture on this Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday … so I urge people to come out with amendments,” Reid warned senators. “The time has come to make decisions on this important legislation.”
The Senate began its formal debate on immigration reform last week and is scheduled to vote on four amendments to the bill on Tuesday. Reid's cloture motion would end debate on the bill if it wins 60 votes.
“I would hope that people understand that this may not be one of our normal weekend where we shoot out of town,” Reid said.
The bill drawn up by a bipartisan group of eight senators would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country, toughen border security, create a guest worker program and boost high-skilled immigration.
Some Republicans have complained that the legislation would provide amnesty in 10-13 years for the nearly 11 million people in the country illegally before strengthening border enforcement.
Reid said Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) have been working with the Gang of Eight to vote on a border security amendment. Some Gang of Eight members have said they’d like their bill to pass with 70 votes in order to send a strong message to the House that they should take up the legislation.