Inhofe pledges no filibuster of possible immigration deal

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Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said Monday he does not plan to filibuster any compromise agreement on immigration reform that emerges from the Senate's bipartisan Gang of Eight negotiators, despite continued concerns a "pathway to citizenship" would be included in the deal. 


"I wouldn't. I wouldn't filibuster," Inhofe told CNN. "This is not an issue I just -- you know, I'm into as much as they are. I just know that I am concerned about the citizenship. I am concerned about what is happening with those who have done it the legal way."

Inhofe told CNN on Monday that he would not necessarily support an immigration deal even if Republican negotiators were satisfied that a pathway to citizenship agreement imposed an adequate waiting period and financial penalties.

"I look at these people who came over the legal way, the hard way, and I can tell you now that my heart bleeds every time I hear people talking about an easier way for illegals to become citizens," Inhofe said.

Inhofe said he was also worried that a compromise bill would be chipped away at through the amendment process.

"I would almost say to my good friends, the Republicans and Democrats, they don't know enough right now in terms of what they've put together. There are too many things, too many changes that could take place," Inhofe said.

His pledge not to filibuster an immigration deal stands in contrast to a gun control bill that Senate Democrats plan to offer once they return from Easter recess. Inhofe, along with other GOP lawmakers, has pledged a filibuster of that legislation.

On Monday, the Oklahoma lawmaker said he would filibuster the gun control bill even if it did not include more controversial provisions affecting the sale of assault weapons or high capacity magazines.

"I just don't believe that you can have a background check that's going to have a material diminishing effect on the availability of handguns or any other type of guns," Inhofe said.