(CNSNews.com) – Republicans are interested in passing immigration reform legislation, which worries Democrats, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) said at a discussion on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
“I think the word is actually getting out that Republicans are interested in doing immigration reform, and that scares many Democrats to death, including apparently, Mr. [Sen. Patrick] Leahy, who was not interested in pushing his amendment because he did not want to get blamed for shipwrecking immigration reform,” Mulvaney said.
Leahy’s amendment, which he withdrew, would have extended the benefits the Senate bill grants to some 11 million illegal aliens, including amnesty and a path to citizenship, to also apply to same-sex bi-national couples. This, Mulvaney said, is a sign that Republicans can influence the final outcome of the legislation.
And if the Republicans can bring to bear their interests on shaping the final bill, Congress may pass an immigration law this year, Mulvaney told reporters.
“If that same attitude prevails in the House, then I think there’s reason to be optimistic,” Mulvaney said.
Mulvaney made the remarks at the monthly “Conversations with Conservatives” event where GOP lawmakers take questions from reporters and other interested parties on “the top issues of the day.”
The House is expected to craft its version of immigration reform legislation in the coming weeks.