Flake expects role in immigration reform talks next year

“Expect to be,” Flake told reporters while walking to Sen. Jon Kyl’s (R-Ariz.) whip office.

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Flake, along with Sen.-elect Ted CruzTed CruzStephen Hawking: Trump a 'demagogue' Dems to Clinton: Ignore Trump on past scandals Meet the billionaire donor behind Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker MORE (R) of Texas and freshman Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio apologized to Trump for 'small hands' crack Sunday shows preview: Bernie soldiers on Fla. Senate candidate bashes Rubio MORE (R-Fla.), is expected to make up the core of any Republican group supporting bipartisan Senate immigration reform next year.

Sens. John McCainJohn McCainWhy a power grid attack is a nightmare scenario Senate fight brews over Afghan visas Trump: Illegal immigrants treated better than veterans MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamSenators to Obama: Make 'timely' call on Afghan troops levels Senate amendments could sink email privacy compromise Trump: Romney 'walks like a penguin' MORE (R-S.C.) will also play important roles. Graham has restarted talks with Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerSchumer touts policy victories over Obama administration Puerto Rico debt relief faces serious challenges in Senate Overnight Healthcare: House, Senate on collision course over Zika funding MORE (D-N.Y.) on a framework for reform.

Republican Party strategists say the party needs to improve its performance with Hispanic voters and persistent conservative opposition to comprehensive immigration reform has been a sore point with this crucial electoral bloc. 

President Obama has said passing immigration reform would be a priority in 2013 and last week House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerIn House GOP, Ryan endorsement of Trump seen as inevitable House GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns MORE (R-Ohio) signaled support for addressing the issue, saying that a “comprehensive approach” was “long overdue.”