Newspaper article Roll Call

'Nobody Is Going to Be Totally Happy' with Immigration Bill, McCain Says

Newspaper article Roll Call

'Nobody Is Going to Be Totally Happy' with Immigration Bill, McCain Says

Article excerpt

The bipartisan group of eight senators drafting immigration overhaul legislation is still haggling over the details of its bill but hopes to make its self-imposed deadline of early April, members said Wednesday.

Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain, speaking at a press conference near the U.S. border in Nogales, Ariz., noted that the bill is being written in a bipartisan manner with the intention of winning as many votes as possible.

"Nobody is going to be totally happy with this legislation,' McCain said. "No one will be because we are having to make compromises, and that"s what makes for good legislation. It"s compromise that brings everybody together.'

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., who attended the press conference after touring the border at McCain"s invitation, said the gang of eight is "very close' to finalizing the bill.

"I"d say we are 90 percent there,' Schumer said. "We have a few little problems to work on; we"ve been on the phone all day talking to our other four colleagues who aren"t here.

"We are very hopeful that we will meet our deadline, we believe we will meet our deadline; we are on track to meet our deadline of having a bill when we get back to Congress in a couple of weeks,' Schumer said.

He declined to provide any other details of the negotiations.

Two other members of the gang of eight - Sen. Jeff Flake, R- Ariz., and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. - also attended the fact- finding trip and press conference. The remaining four members of the group - Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Sen. Robert Menendez, R-N.J., Sen Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. - did not attend.

"They wanted to come ... but they had already made plans for this recess,' McCain said.

Members of the group have been working on the bill since January and have been reluctant to give themselves a more specific deadline, arguing the package is complicated.

Nevertheless, pressure is mounting for Congress to act on the issue before the end of the summer. …

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