McConnell hopes Senate, House can strike immigration reform deal

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) expressed hope Tuesday that Senate and House negotiators will reach a deal on immigration reform this year, even though he opposes the Senate bill.

McConnell plans to vote against the comprehensive Senate immigration reform bill this week, but said he hopes the legislation can be modified in conference negotiations between the House and Senate.

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“I hope the House will be able to pass a companion measure and we'll have a conference and deal with an issue of this magnitude in a way that we should,” McConnell told reporters.

“So, I look forward to seeing what the House can do. And hopefully, we'll be able to get to a product, a conference report here later in the year that the House and Senate can express themselves on,” he added.

Some Republicans are reading the statement as a signal to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that he would likely support a compromise the House GOP leader reaches with Democrats on immigration reform.

McConnell announced Monday that he opposes the Senate bill because it does not guarantee border security before granting legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.

“Despite the hard work and best efforts of our colleagues, I remain concerned that when it comes to the threshold question of border security, today’s assurances may well become tomorrow’s disappointments,” he said.