President Barack Obama told a Republican senator Tuesday that immigration is next on his agenda, according to a report.
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) told the Wall Street Journal that the president told him that Democrats plan to move ahead with immigration reform legislation next month when the two spoke this afternoon.
The Journal reported that Obama told Brown that immigration was next, and was lobbying the blue-state senator to take a look at the bipartisan legislation that Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) had crafted.
“He called me originally about illegal immigration, something that he wanted me to look at that was coming down the pike,” Brown said. “I told him and others that I will read anything and make a judgment when it comes forth.”
Obama had seemed to ostensibly phone Brown to work the new senator on financial regulation reform, the top Democratic priority now before the Senate, which needs at least one GOP vote to advance.
But the potential move to immigration reform is in line with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) previous hints that Democrats hope to move on immigration reform still this year.
The president's hint to Brown also comes before a backdrop of increased pressure from both parties on the issue. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, led in part on the issue by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), has said Hispanic voters might stay home this fall without an attempt at reform, while Republicans like Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), a previous proponent of reform, have ramped up talks on border security.