U.S Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) wants the House of Representatives to be ready to act on immigration reform when members Congress return to Washington in September. House Republican leaders indicated that no vote on an immigration bill would take place this week before members of Congress leave on the five-week recess. Durbin says Republican representatives are trying to ignore the issue.
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“They’d like to see it go away,” Durbin said. “But when you have a 68-vote margin sending the bill over from the Senate, a bipartisan vote, they can’t escape it.” Sen. Durbin was one of the so-called Gang of Eight who drafted the Senate’s version of the immigration reform bill, which passed by a 68-32 vote. The House has appeared reluctant to pass comprehensive legislation, with Republican leaders favoring a piece-by-piece approach. Durbin believes if the two chambers work together, results will come more quickly. “If the House would spend a little more time working with us in conference committee,” Durbin said, “we could get this done before October.” Durbin plans to use the August recess to drum up voter support for the Senate bill.