Pelosi on immigration: "Lets be optimistic"
Despite signs from House Republicans they'll oppose any immigration measure that includes a pathway to citizenship, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi remained optimistic Tuesday that a bill overhauling the nation's immigration laws could pass the lower chamber.
Speaking on CNN's "New Day," the California Democrat said Republicans looking to improve their electoral outlook among Latino voters will ultimately line up behind a bill that creates a fairer system for people who want to come to the United States.
"One of the reasons this bill is a priority for the Republicans in Congress and especially in the Senate is because in the last election, Hispanic voters went 70% for President Obama," Pelosi told CNN's Kate Bolduan. "That sent an eloquent message to them that if they wanted to be relevant as they went down the road, they had to attract Hispanic voters, and not only Hispanic but other immigrant voters to our country."
The Senate passed a key test vote on a border security amendment Monday to a larger bipartisan immigration reform bill supporters hope to approve by the end of the week. The 67-27 vote needed at least 60 votes to move forward.
Backers of the bill were hoping to win about 70 votes to demonstrate growing bipartisan momentum for the larger proposal as it nears final passage in the Democratic-controlled Senate and heads to the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.
In that chamber, a separate bipartisan group has been working on drafting immigration reform legislation, yet some Republicans have labeled any pathway to citizenship as "amnesty," and vowed to oppose it.
But Pelosi predicted Tuesday that pressure to become more attractive to Latino voters would outweigh GOP opposition to the bill. "Now they've had an epiphany on the subject…hopefully, they'll urge the Senate, the House Democrats and the House Republicans, to work together to get a bill," Pelosi said.