Friday, June 15, 2007

Speaker Nancy Pelosi interview on the future of the immigration bill in the House:

MR. HUNT: The immigration bill is bogged down in the bitterly divided Senate. In July, will the House take up immigration no matter what the Senate does, or are you going to wait to see what the Senate does first?

REP. PELOSI: I've always said that we will wait to see what the Senate does. I have to commend President Bush. He has been very courageous on this issue. We won't have a bill though, unless he exerts more leadership in the Senate and in the House to pass the legislation.

MR. HUNT: If the bill as it stands should pass the Senate, what would be its prospects in the House?

REP. PELOSI: Well, it depends on what passes the Senate. We like the bill that passed in the last Congress. It was comprehensive; it was about securing our borders, enforcing our laws, protecting American workers, and providing a path to legalization for millions of people in our country. I don't know what form the bill will take in the Senate this year, because, as you know, the one bill was prevented from coming to the floor. So now they're at work on the next version.

MR. HUNT: But they had the basic compromise over there, the so-called grand bargain, which has pretty much stuck together with one or two exceptions. The broad outlines of the bill, can that pass the House right now?

REP. PELOSI: With some modification, but we'll work together in a bipartisan way. This bill affects too many people over a long period of time. We want it to be bipartisan and comprehensive.

MR. HUNT: And how many Republican votes would it have to get to pass the House?

REP. PELOSI: Well, I would like to see a strong bipartisan vote, but I would hope that it would be at least 50 to 70 votes on the Republican side. That doesn't mean that we would lose that many Democrats; it just means we'd like to see a show of bipartisanship.