By Amie Parnes - 06/28/13 04:05 PM EDT
President Obama called the eight senators who crafted the immigration reform legislation approved by the Senate from his African trip on Thursday to congratulate them on their victory.
Obama spoke to Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamGraham: Iran ‘giving Obama the diplomatic finger’ The Hill's 12:30 Report GOP warms to Trump MORE (R-S.C.), John McCainJohn McCainMcCain delivers his own foreign policy speech Republicans who vow to never back Trump Russia’s nuclear strategy: It’s a trap! MORE (R-Ariz.), Michael BennetMichael BennetGOP Senate candidate wins right to be on Colorado ballot EPA ozone rule looms large in swing state 2 Colorado Senate candidates fail to qualify for ballot MORE (D-Colo.) and Charles SchumerCharles SchumerCruz's dad: Trump 'would be worse than Hillary Clinton' With Ryan’s blessing, lawmakers press ahead with tax reform talks Big business will never appease the Left MORE (D-N.Y.) after returning from an official dinner in Senegal Thursday night, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
Obama tried but failed to reach Sens. Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeSenate confirms Obama's long-stalled ambassador to Mexico McCain fundraiser faces felony drug charges in Arizona Rubio blocks Mexico ambassador nominee after talk of deal MORE (R-Ariz.), Marco RubioMarco RubioFive ways Trump will attack Clinton Rubio: Trump has 'improved significantly' House GOP campaign arm accuses '60 Minutes' of trespassing MORE (R-Fla.), Bob MenendezRobert MenendezSenate confirms Obama's long-stalled ambassador to Mexico Democrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment Senate close to voting on Mexico ambassador MORE (D-N.J.) and Dick DurbinDick DurbinElizabeth Warren stumps, raises funds for Duckworth Senators roll out changes to criminal justice bill Let the Democratic veepstakes begin MORE (D-Ill.), the other four authors of the Senate bill. The eight members are known as the gang of eight.
Carney would not elaborate on the White House strategy going forward when it comes to tackling immigration, one of Obama's top priorities in his second term. The White House spokesman simply emphasized that the legislation “enjoyed substantial bipartisan support in the Senate” and argued it would be a “boon” to the economy — including significantly reducing the deficit —if it became law.
Carney pledged that the White House would work with the House the same way it did with the Senate, “which is to make clear what our principles are and to provide the significant amount of policy expertise that we have, and data that we have, and to be as helpful to the process as we can.”