The HillTube

Paul Ryan: Immigration reform in House more likely after border vote

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday said the Senate’s support for tougher border security made it more likely that immigration reform would pass the House, a day after the upper chamber advanced a measure to bolster enforcement efforts.

“I think that, that passing makes this final passage more likely,” said Ryan on CBS’s “This Morning.” 

ADVERTISEMENT
On Monday, the Senate advanced a border amendment to the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill, which would increase the number of patrol agents by 20,000 and fund the construction of 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The measure advanced on a 67-27 vote, gaining 15 Republican votes and bolstering hopes that the Senate’s comprehensive reform bill could pass with a strong majority and build momentum headed to the House.

The Senate is expected to vote on final legislation later this week.

Ryan said that the House was unlikely to take up the Senate bill, preferring to introduce its own legislation, but said the border security amendment was more in accord with the views of conservative Republicans.

“We won’t bring the Senate bill over to the House, the House is going to do its own legislation, our own plan which is going to be far more methodical. We’re going to take our time,” said Ryan.

“What the Senate just did is they moved closer to the House’s position which obviously makes final legislation more likely,” he added.

Ryan said he expected the House plan to be “similar” to the bipartisan Senate proposal. 

“Similar, but we’re going to make sure we do it right. We’re going to make sure we secure the border. We’re going to make sure we have the E-Verify system up and running and fix legal immigration,” said Ryan.

Immigration reform faces an uphill struggle though in the House, where many lawmakers are opposed to plans to offer a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has also vowed to not move legislation unless it has the support of a majority of members of the GOP conference. 

Ryan though said he expected the House to act on immigration quickly. 

“I think probably July is our plan,” he said.